Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Exit Through the Gift Shop Review

I have to appologize because we saw this film on opening weekend and are just now getting around to posting a review (my fault). Anyway I want to start by saying that Exit Through the Gift Shop is one of those every once in awhile films that are completely original and leave you asking the question...Is this all real??? That question and many others will fill your head as it takes you through the world of street art. The "documentary" follows Thierry Guetta, a Frenchman who lives in Los Angeles and videotapes "everything." This habit eventually leads him to start following graffiti artists around LA and document their activities. Guetta was introduced to the scene through a cousin, the French artist Space Invader — his videotaping habit works with the artists’ desire to have their work documented. He captures the street art scene’s luminaries, like Shepard Fairey and Swoon working on rooftops and on vacant building at night. Eventually he builds his reputation among the LA artist and through Fairey, is connected with Banksy, the infamous British street artist, who established his reputation on stunts, such as placing politically/socially inspired work in museums around the world.

After discovering that Guetta is not a real filmmaker, Banksy decides to take control of the material himself — or so we’re told. Encouraged by Banksy, Guetta, changes into a street artist, giving himself the alter ego called Mr. Brainwash and staging an opening exhibition in Los Angeles that turns him into an overnight sensation. Now, this where the film becomes particularly interesting and changes into a bitter critique of his efforts. Who knows if this is all real or not, you be the judge. Unfortunately this film is showing in limited release so definitely go see it in the theaters while you can. I dare you.

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