My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Friday, September 10, 2010
Short Review: Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)
Exit through the Gift Shop is an exciting and exhilarating experience! I still don't know how I feel about the outrageous turn of events in the latter half of this documentary. As introduced in the opening moments by a hooded and concealed Banksy, this is a film about an ordinary but obsessive Frenchman (Thierry Guetta) who becomes intrigued by the world of street art and, through pure luck, becomes a collaborator with the leading genius' in the rapidly expanding industry. Having sought out the elusive Banksy (the anonymous world phenomenon) and becoming a close friend and accomplice, he offers to take Guetta's hours of captured footage of artists at work and a failed documentary attempt and transform it into his own work of art. On Banksy's instructions, Guetta decides to become an artist himself, opening an enormous exhibition under the name of Mr Brainwash, and meeting even more cultural acclaim and wealth than his far more renowned and inventive friends. There has been an abundance of discussion that most of the latter half of the film is an elaborate hoax from Banksy as a satirical comment on consumerism and excess, celebrity and the nature of art in general. I'm not too familiar with Banksy, but if the fine examples of his work in the film are any indication, I can see why this is likely the case. Wildly inventive and entertaining and very often hilarious, this is a massive achievement and a film I could enjoy countless times.