The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
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…
This documentary introduced me to the world of "street art" and its practitioners, which was totally unknown to me. There is some debate about whether this film itself is a gigantic hoax, but I won't say any more about it.
The unconventional storytelling = the street art
I would rate the first half of the movie approximately three stars. The last twenty minutes or so just blew my mind, bumping up my overall rating. Even if the "orchestration" controversy is true, it only makes the film that much more fascinating.
Considering that Banksy had never made a film before this film is great for what it is. Not only is it a very well thought out character study of a disillusioned fanatic "artist" but also exposes the rich millennial sheep living in L.A. who buy shitty recycled pop culture garbage to make themselves feel trendy. It's pretty much a criticism of urban street culture in general because at the end of the day they're just copying other peoples work and adding bright colors to it and combining recognizable marketing icons with each other and calling it original. (yeah im pretty edgy and cool didn't u realize?)
"Maybe there is something to learn from it"
+++ Brilliant idea for a mockumentary
+ A deep look at street art from an original point of view
+ Great and fascinating characters
+ Superb ending, a great commentary on "art"
- Main character's lifestyle and "out of the blue" talent is not really believable (even if the build up to it is quite good)
Really enjoyable. Makes you question a lot, not sure if it's art, or a documentary, or if it even matters. Banksy is banksy.
*Pretension: the Movie.
Street art is amazing. Banksy, specifically, does fantastic work. I think the medium is better left a mystery. The art retains more power that way.
My biggest issue with Exit Through the Gift Shop is that the footage was filmed by an unbearable crazy man.
Who incidentally made his money by importing clothes, hiking the price 10,000% ($50 to $5000 admitted in the film) and selling it on. Seems very anti-Banksy.
If this film is about art, it is about the art of misdirection. Banksy is such a mystery and street art is such a mystery to me that I largely took the events of this film in good faith. However there comes a point where you realise that it just might not be true. Now there is no specific moment where the rug is pulled from underneath you as such but it certainly makes perfect sense to me that Banksy is making a piece of art about the devaluation of art by commercialism. This stuff is underground, it does not thrive on commercial value or the price of art, it is about communication. That is essentially what art is, a…
Complete list. :-(
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!