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."
"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.
The real question isn't whether or not this film is a hoax, which it clearly is, it's exactly where the facts stop and the fiction begins. In any case, the film is a weirdly perfect attack on the art community, and probably the most authentic documentary about the spirit of street art anyone could make. One thing everyone who sees this film should be certain of is that Banksy is the real deal, a certifiable artistic genius living among us, with a twisted sense of humor and a Machiavellian demeanor. Incredibly entertaining and watchable, wickedly funny, the film tells as ripping a yarn as any documentary I could name. Rather than a 'street art disaster movie,' I'd call this a 'dignity heist flick,' with almost everyone on screen cast as a victim.
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…
A phenomenal documentary. It's billed as being about Banksy but really he is only a small part of the story. Focusing on street art enthusiast, Thierry Guetta and his role in chronicling the works of the likes of Banksy, Invader and Shepard Fairey, it charts the explosion of money and attention around street art and follows Guetta as, taken in by a throwaway comment from Banksy, he decides to become an artist himself.
Chopping up thousands of hours of home video, the documentary perfectly captures Guetta's naivety and offers a subtle commentary on the relationship between commerce, creativity and true genius. It's hard to describe why this is so perfect as a tale but for me, the larger than life characters make it a must see even if you have no interest in street art itself
Interesting story, almost too good to be true. Guetta kind of epitomizes what I don't like about modern art and the whole art scene. Still an interesting figure. I don't get the hype of Banksy, he just seems like a great advertiser, much in the way he criticizes Guetta near the end of the film. Guetta himself seems like quite the character.
2010 was sort of a big year for documentary cinema, with major releases like Waiting for Superman, Tabloid, Restrepo, and Catfish. Leading the pack were two films, the highly accomplished and important (though slightly conventional) Inside Job, and the off-kilter and fascinating Exit Through the Gift Shop. Ultimately it was the former that won the Oscar, but Gift Shop was almost certainly the more talked about film. Directed by the infamous Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop follows an eccentric French man named Thierry living in L.A. obessed with filming everything constantly. He becomes fascinated with the street art scene, which eventually leads him to Banksy. The film is sort of hard to describe given it's unconventional structure. It starts…
Mr. Brainwash says it better than I could:
"I just loved it, you know, filming at night and street, because it was, like, a mix of fears and getting something that nobody sees, and somewhere you and... illegal, and you can get caught, you know? So it was, like, that feeling that it was, like, a danger, and I like that. You know, I like the danger."
I like it, too!
"I don't think Thierry played by the rules in some ways; but, then there are not suposed to be any rules. So, I don't really know what mine is. I mean I always used to encourage everyone I met to make art, I used to think everyone should do it. I don't do that so much anymore."
Exit Though the Gift Shop is an interesting documentary about the street art movement - decorated by a satirical aftertaste.
I couldn't figure out how far the cinephile Thierry is a real person or just a fictional character introduced by Banksy. Maybe he is actually Banksy himself? I don't know and it doesn't matter, because this movie works greatly and is a damn good piece of art itself.
Very entertaining movie with fascinating pictures which introduces you into the actual street art scene.
I don't know what this film is really about, what is the reality and what is made-up. Is it just a prank or not? I have no idea, but this whole flick just felt like a classic "The Rise and Fall" story with the twist of something's/someone's rise can be others fall if you don't keep your eyes on what is important. So rise=fall in this case... I think so.
So funny. So good. So strange. And if it is a prank, that makes it even better. A brilliant commentary on art and the artist and how they are never similarly, or clearly, defined. Also, Banksy's last quote in the movie had be laughing for a good 10 minutes.
Architecture, graffiti, pottery, industrial design, typography, painting, branding, photography, and a bit of dance for good measure.
It's a good…
The Dissolve recently released their picks for The 50 Best Films of the Decade, Letterboxd'ized here for my benefit (and…