>> Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

Title: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Thierry Guetta, Banksy, Invader, Shepard Fairey

Studio: Banksy Films

Runtime: 87 minutes

In Theatres: April 30, 2010

Rating: 4.37 (out of 4.00)

Grade: A+

Official Site

BOTTOM LINE

Exit Through the Gift Shop may be an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the infamous Banksy or it may just be another documentary. Either way, it’s an excellent film to watch.

Next time you’re walking down the city street take a look around you. More times than not, you’ll probably see some form of graffiti or street art plastered to the side of a building or billboard. You can’t tell by its name but Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary about some of the world’s most influential and talented street artists. These include Shepard Fairey, Invader, and the mysterious Banksy. If you haven’t heard of these names before, you’ll be quite familiar with them by the end of the film.

The film documents Thierry Guetta and his obsession with filming everything, which in turn leads to him becoming enveloped with local street artists and their work. After years off following them and documenting their art, Guetta, with the help of Banksy, decides to produce some masterpieces of his own and host a gallery in Los Angeles. Even though he has no experience whatsoever and is frankly somewhat of an idiot, he manages to create a name for himself, Mr. Brainwash. This is his story.

Footage from Guetta’s camera is what’s mainly used to create the film, occasionally being spliced with present day interviews with Banksy and Fairey. Guetta isn’t your average film maker or artist. In fact, the man isn’t really either. He’s just your average guy who somehow ends up lucky and manages to be successful in both realms…sorta.

Bansky and all the other true street artists actually mock and make fun of Guetta, calling him an idiot or a fool, albeit a lucky one. It’s quite funny to hear them comment on his work and such. This makes it seem that the film isn’t really a documentary at all. The story is just too good and Cinderella-like to be true. Even if it turns out as a fake, that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

What is true in the film is the artwork itself. There are some wonderful pieces that are both creative and spectacular, especially when they’re presented in a real life setting. We get to see the ins and outs of what has primarily been an underground (and illegal) scene. If you’ve never experienced this world, then you’ll be in for a treat.

Exit Through the Gift Shop may be an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the infamous Banksy or it may just be another documentary. Either way, it’s an excellent film to watch and I highly recommend you do so if you have the opportunity.

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