movie: Exit Through The Gift Shop

April 6, 2010

This film is having a very limited release but I’m really glad I caught it at the GFT tonight.  “Exit Through The Gift Shop” is or might be a documentary about street art.  It is the first movie by Banksy and has various tag lines like:

“The world’s first Street Art disaster movie”
“The incredible true story of how the world’s greatest Street Art movie was never made…”
“The story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed” – Banksy

However, it is a little tricky to know where to start with this because it is “semi-fictionalised documentary” so there is no way of really knowing what parts of the story are true and what has been re-created for the camera.  I also found it difficult because in general I don’t like what is termed ‘street-art’ that I simply see as graffiti and vandalism, while at the same time I do like a lot of Banksy’s work.

OK, now I’ve got that out of the way I have to say I really really enjoyed this film.  It starts out with a simple documentary of how a French guy called Thierry Guetta is obsessed with recording everything on video and who then stumbles into the ‘street-art’ scene. Then it starts to creep up on you as less and less serious and increasingly ludicrous and funny.    Above all, this is simply a very, very funny story poking fun at the art world and an extremely enjoyable film.