Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Movie Review-Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)

My son Brian turned me on to the street artist Banksy a couple of years ago. His work is amazing.

He is well known for satirical street art with a purpose (social and political commentary). His work has shown up all over the World.

A book highlighting his work was published in 2007. Aptly named Wall and Piece, it highlights Banksy's work over the years. As you can imagine, much of his work doesn't survive, either having been painted over or washed off within hours of it appearing.

Exit Through The Gift Shop is a documentary film released this past summer (2010) that was meant to be a look at the street art culture through the eyes of Thierry Guetta (aka Mr. Brainwash) a Frenchman living in Los Angeles. He befriends many of the World's most famous street artists including Shepard Fairey, Space Invader and Banksy himself. They let him follow them as they create their art. Most of the time these are covert operations done under cover of darkness.

Ultimately the tables get turned when Banksy realizes that Mr. Guetta has no idea how to take all the footage he has filmed and put it into a cohesive story.

I missed Exit Through The Gift Shop when it was released this past summer. The film wasn't shown in mainstream theaters, but luckily it is now streaming on Netflix.

One of my favorite Banksy works!
Exit Through The Gift Shop is very entertaining, not only for it's revealing look into the street art culture, but also for the story of Thierry Guetta and his ineptitude as a filmmaker. It has been nominated for an Oscar this year for Best Feature Documentary.

A closing thought. Banksy's actual identity is not known. It struck me as I was watching the film that it was a hoax, and that Thierry Guetta was actually Banksy himself. Quite a bit of speculation on this matter has been published on the Internet. Makes the film itself even more interesting!


Chelle said...

Banksy is one of my fave-o-reets. I didn't know they made a movie.

I thought he was hide-y. Is he in the movie?

Jiresell said...

He is in the movie. Face is blurred and voice is electronically altered!