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…
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."
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…
"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…
A beautiful, entertaining piece of art that makes you wonder what really is art and how does one go about obtaining it.
really interesting documentary about a man who was going to make a documentary. it's pretty well made and features a lot of cool stuff but i didn't think it was ground breaking enough to warrant higher than 3 1/2 stars
Absolutely great fun to watch, more than just your average doco
best film of 2010
I'm 3 years late to the party, but I came. And I liked it. I liked it a lot. Really well made, Banksy tells us the story of mad man Thierry Guetta and how he became both interested in street art and a famous street artist. It's ridiculous, this guy is intense to say the least. What a trip. I think it was well made and it really makes you question if this is really Banksy and what's really real.
Amazing subject and the way it was developed, I loved the whole thing. I have recently been really interested in street art so I felt like I had to watch this, and I don't regret it. As far as documentaries go, it did the job.
"There's no one like Thierry, even though his art looks like everyone else's."
With a magnificent soundtrack, Exit Through the Gift Shop is a funny and thoroughly enjoyable exploration about streetart, what makes art and when does it stop being such.
Madness, pure madness. The story of Thierry Guetta's rise to world stardom/this documentary will destroy the brains of all who watch. Banksy and his editors sift through thousands of hours of footage to produce a frenzied, musical movie that never forecasts where it'll go next, masterfully tracing the rapid rise and fall of an entire art scene. Guetta, now more widely known as the artist Mr. Brainwash, will rival Robert Crumb as the most fascinating artist documented on film. The impact of Exit Through the Gift Shop is significant whether or not it's all a hoax.
Maybe it's part of the artifice of it all, but why did Banksy not include any substantial interviews with Guetta's family?
Exit Through the Gift Shop is bizarre and fascinating. I really enjoyed it.
A compelling documentary that lets you venture into the mysterious and illegal world of street art.