Exit Through the Gift Shop

Rated R 87 min. 2010

Exit Through the Gift Shop is many things: a street art documentary, a conceptual art stunt, a character study, an urban farce, and a cautionary tale about what happens when anarchy intersects with the marketplace. Directed by the notoriously clever, secretive British street artist and snarketeer Banksy, its subject is ostensibly a mildly loony Frenchman named Thierry Guetta, who decides, after a career as a vintage clothing merchant, to remake himself as a documentary filmmaker. He begins with his cousin Space Invader, who turns him on to street art, and, scaling even greater heights, is soon filming Swoon, Shepard Fairey, and the really big game, Banksy. As Thierry records their global wheat-pasting and flights from the cops, it becomes more and more unclear if what he is recording is for posterity or maybe just himself. The videotapes begin piling up in his L.A. home, boxes and boxes of them. When Thierry finally shows Banksy his documentary, the street artist is appalled. It’s a mess. Banksy’s remedy: commandeer the film away from Thierry. But Thierry pulls a switcheroo of his own, deciding to launch his own career as a street artist, dubbing himself Mr. Brainwash. Some have suggested that Exit Through the Gift Shop is another stunt, which is not surprising, considering Banksy’s own punk-rock modus operandi. Either way, Exit Through the Gift Shop is a don’t-miss high-octane entertainment for anyone interested in street art or the art world and an uproariously funny assertion that despite the subversive, contrary nature of street art, the market will often assert its bad self in the end.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.banksyfilm.com

Producer: Jaimie D'Cruz and James Gay-Rees

Cast: Shepard Fairy and Bansky

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Exit Through the Gift Shop

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