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The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world's most infamous graffiti artists at work. Written by
Sundance Film Festival
I came into this as a complete neutral. I knew of some street artists, but not many, and liked the Banksy murals and oils that I had seen. I came away from the film impressed.
Firstly and most importantly it's entertaining. It's smart, charismatic and at times quite, quite funny. But its also a film that leaves a lasting impression as it has an ending that is a bit ambiguous as to whether it is a prank or not. It is a film of two halves - both halves providing great PR for the street artists. The first half is a documentary of several street artists. The street artists are likable and unpretentious. Their message is unmistakable and runs along the lines of 'We enjoy what we do and hope you do'. And I must admit I did. Top of this pile is Banksy. Obviously incredibly talented and laugh out loud, he steals the show as the docu focuses on his palestinian wall art, his Disneyland prank and the LA Show. Its impressive stuff. Now the ambiguous second half. Thierry, the filmmaker, himself, becomes an artist and the film takes great pleasure in showing how awful he is. Despite this he manages to put on a successful show in LA. Instantly it becomes a satire on contemporary art and how the art buying public are sometimes unable to distinguish between good and bad art. What is ambiguous here is the authenticity of Thierry, aka Mr Brainwash, Is this a prank where he is deliberately awful, or is he genuinely oblivious to his awfulness. Well you will have to watch it to form your own opinion. I guarantee at the very least you'll have an enjoyable hour and a half forming that opinion
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