Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Exit Through the Gift Shop
The world's first Street Art disaster movie
Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the separation barrier on the Palestinian West Bank. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film. Exit Through the Gift Shop tells the incredible true story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner.
Obviously I am a few years behind on the "controversial" documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. It has been called everything from a prankumentary (The New York Times movie reviewer Jeannette Catsoulis) to a wonderful documentary about the street art movement.
I believe it is almost fitting that the film leaves people questioning whether or not this was a hoax or a genuine effort. The world of art, regardless of the medium is always open to interpretation. I, for one, believe this was an actual documentary. I was sort of surprised after watching it this evening when I first read it was actually considered a hoax, it never once crossed my mind that this was not real, as fantastic as…
Two of the most high profile documentaries of 2010 were films with dubious authenticity, but rather than being a criticism the genuine/hoax debate is deliberately at the centre of both Exit Through the Gift Shop and Catfish. It is hard to separate fact from fiction here, there is clearly truth amongst the fabrication but where that line really is becomes difficult to tell. What we end up with here is a docu-drama that playfully asks the question 'what is art?' in a way that will engage both detractors and supporters of both Banksy and the street art movement as a whole.
At the centre of this documentary is a charming French man, Thierry Guetta, too believable to be a creation…
It's confounding. It's thought-provoking. It's unexpected. All the things a good documentary should be.
Makes you think about what art is; where do you draw the line between creativity and delusion? What makes art?
The documentary in itself is nothing like what I've watched before. It takes your preconceived notions and flips it on your head. Extraordinary.
I'm still blown away, speechless really.
"I think the joke is on... I don’t know who the joke is on, really. I don’t even know if there is a joke."
The Kind-of-Tragic Life of "Exit Through the Gift Shop"
Banksy- "About my entire life has been dedicated to street art, the craft, the means of achieving what I want to say. Then this dim-wit Frenchman comes about, carrying a superficial obsession-border-fetish with the idea of street art and nothing else. My mystification at his wild success through sheer method of money, size, and obsessive commoditization of prior pieces of art that are more physical feats than artistic ones is what I try to capture by the film's end. This story damned-well proves that the pop art world is a scam and the relationship between the populace and the artist will forever remain misconstrued."
But will people understand what you're trying…
"Warhol repeated iconic images until they became meaningless, but there was still something iconic about them. Thierry really makes them meaningless."
Is it a prank? Is it a joke? Is it real? Is it art? I don't care. It's super entertaining and funny and that's good enough for me.
Life is beautiful.
In 2010, Exit Through the Gift Shop landed in the festival scene with much critical acclaim and since then has come under scrutiny for its authenticity. I beg the question, why does it matter? Much like the documentary film Catfish, whose premise has spawned a television show and verb of its own (Catfishing?), Exit Through the Gift Shop presents itself with real people, real emotions and for the most part, real events. But there are some elements that challenge the viewer to ask what is real and what is reality. I think that's a good sign that a documentary has a really good subject.
But when it comes to Exit I find at saying too much about…
I've had a smattering of appreciation for street art over the years. Enough to see the value in the good stuff, separate it from pointless tagging or douchebag vandalism, and enough to realize that my line separating the two is probably in the wrong place.
But the mythos of Banksy has been fascinating. It's easier to not be familiar with his work than I suspect many people in the scene realize. I figure that unless you happen to live in or near a place he's worked (assuming it wasn't covered over/taken down/whatever) or kind of keep your fingers in the happenings of the art world, he's an easy guy to miss. Shepard Fairey's Andre the Giant piece and Obama piece…
I still don't know wether this is a "mockumentary" or a true documentary, but honestly, does it matter? More of my review at jayrunham.com/exit
Now I want to become a street artist, hmm...
A flowing and building doc, Exit Through the Gift Shop exposes a side of the street art world very few get to see
Whatever it is, it still holds up.
I don't think people truly understand the beauty of street art (graffiti). This film will show you the ins and outs of the industry and how interesting it really is. But just when you think this film is about this movement and the mysterious *Banksy, it takes a turn and becomes about Thierry Guetta, the frenchman who originally started making this film but was consumed by the art industry and quite frankly, is a bit mental. A Thrilling, informative, and interesting film. I recommend this to filmmakers and non filmmakers.
*Banksy's art is world known, and to this day no one knows his true identity. He made this film in total anonymity and some question its very truthfulness. Some go as far as to say that Thierry is Banksy!
Essentially it was "Inception", but with street artists. Art imitating life imitating art.
A visually stunning introduction to the biggest players in the street art world. They keep a film maker as a pet, who learns their trade and imitates it. They're then totally upset that the public can't tell the difference between their *real art* by *real artistis* and Thierry Guetta's commodified and mass produced imitations.
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A list with film titles that could easily have been titles of porn movies.
Got any more?