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... See full summary »
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Jean François Heckel,
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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
Excellent whether you think it's a hoax or 100% truth!
There are many who will swear this film is 100% truth. However, there are also those who believe it to be a complete farce- concocted by Shepard Fairy (the Obama poster guy) and everyone's favorite guerilla stenciler, Banksy. Regardless of the film's true history, it is a statement about street art and, more importantly, an examination of the true values which motivate it. The film opens in 1999 with Thierry Guetta, a clothing mogul and amateur filmmaker. Guetta is a bumbling, stumbling and nearly incoherent Frenchman who accidentally discovers his cousin's role in the rapidly growing street art community. This chance occurrence sends Guetta on a 10 year, global journey to document prominent members of the fledgling art movement- from its grimy, urban roots on street corners and the sides of buildings, to its rise into galleries, auction houses and the homes of wealthy collectors. The odd, quirky and moving art in the film plays as much of a role as Guetta, Banksy and the other artists. Guetta represents the unknowing public who is forced to view this street art created by individuals who are fueled by cynicism and disgust for the modern, commercial and censored world we live in. And, naturally, he wants to be a part of it. Without giving too much away, 'Exit through the Gift Shop' is first an intimate look into the world of street art and how mainstream consumerism is destroying it- the same way it did coffee houses, acoustic music, and, well, art in general. And then it is one man's odyssey into the street art world. He is overcome by one of the last great outlets of independent social criticism and some of the movement's greatest contributors. Then, he attempts to become one of them and really makes a mess. 'Exit through the Gift Shop' is a documentary in the way that 'Borat' was a documentary. It's farce which forces its viewers to look deeper into the subject. Rhys Ifan provides narration for the film, which only adds to the humor and overall dry wit. In a perfect synthesis, 'Exit' combines great art, a few nail biting and anxiety inducing moments and a clever and hilarious story which is both too far-fetched to be fully believable but also simply be written off as a complete hoax.
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