2010 / Director. Banksy.
Having a basic awareness of Banksy may be a detriment to Exit Through The Gift Shop... or perhaps it enhances it? Banksy a world renowned street artist who's work appears all around the globe, springing up randomly under the cloak of night. His identity is unknown and his art fetches tens of thousands of dollars amongst collectors. His work is political and satirical and evokes discussion and debate about the validity of graffiti. And so Exit Through The Gift Shop is a documentary film he has made himself and it has caused a lot of conjecture and disagreement amongst audiences. For many years a French guy named Thierry Guetta followed various street artists with his video camera. Every waking moment was captured and eventually he found his way to Banksi, who granted him exclusive access to his installations and secret workshop. With the promise to turn all of the footage into a serious documentary about the street art scene, Guetta put together a train wreck of a doco. And so Banksi sent him away to create his own art and in turn, Banksi secretly made his own documentary... all about Guetta. He essentially turned the table and has produced this portrait of a strange and peculiar man who ultimately misunderstood the essence of street art. This is a fascinating film, riddled with mystery. Is it a legitimate film or is it a mockumentary? It's impossible to say. Many people, including artists, believe that the doco is a hoax and that Thierry Guetta, as presented on screen, is actually Banksi himself. Could this be Banksi flirting with the public and flaunting his identity in our faces? I really really want to believe that!! Or is this a genuine story about a slightly unstable man full of grandeur who fancies himself an artist? The mystery is delicious and whichever theory you choose to adopt, it is a masterstroke on Banksi's behalf. This film is a brilliant extension of his own art and for him to come out of it with his anonymity in tact is genius.