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Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

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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... See full summary »

Director:

Banksy
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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The Woodstock of Street Art in a 5-Story Museum outfitted in the Warhol-Faux creations of Thierry Guetta, AKA Mr. Brainwash.

Director: Joseph G. Quinn
Stars: Mr. Brainwash, Ron English, Bob Marley
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Banksy ... Himself
Mr. Brainwash ... Himself (as Thierry Guetta aka Mister Brainwash)
Debora Guetta Debora Guetta ... Herself
Space Invader Space Invader ... Himself
Monsieur André Monsieur André ... Himself
Zeus Zeus ... Himself
Shepard Fairey ... Himself
Ron English ... Himself
Caledonia Curry Caledonia Curry ... Herself (as Swoon)
Borf Borf ... Himself
Buffmonster Buffmonster ... Himself
Steve Lazarides Steve Lazarides ... Himself
Wendy Asher Wendy Asher ... Herself
Roger Gastman Roger Gastman ... Himself
Laurent Nahoum-Vatinet Laurent Nahoum-Vatinet ... Himself
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The incredible true story of how the world's greatest Street Art movie was never made... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

14 May 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Banksy - Pinta a Parede! See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$170,756, 18 April 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,291,250

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,132,689
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paranoid Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of George Price's 20 Favourite Movies, in which Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) was tied with Bowling for Columbine (2002) and Three Miles North of Molkom (2010). See more »

Quotes

Thierry Guetta: [talking about meeting Banksy for the first time] It was magic that this person let me film, you know? I felt like I had the piece that will finish the puzzle. It was like getting something in the daylight that... what you see in the nightlight. He was even more than I expected; he was, like, just incredible; he was cool, he was... he was human, he was... he was... he was... he is, you know, he's really like a... what he represents, you know? He's really like a... I think he's really like a... I...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end says "No elephants were harmed during the making of this movie" referring to Banksy's US expo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Veep: B/ill (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Kronkite (Instrumental version)
Performed by The Creators
Written by Julian Hector Charles Baker (as J. Baker)/Simon Gilbert (as S. Gilbert)
Published by & (c) 2000 Bad Magic/Wall of Sound
Taken from the album "The Creators, The Weight"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fast-paced and highly entertaining film
16 May 2010 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

Exit Through the Gift Shop may be all smoke and mirrors but it is a highly provocative mirror we look into, one that raises many questions about the commercialization of art and even about the authenticity of the documentary form itself. Ostensibly directed by the mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy, the film, shot with a not too steady hand-held camera, describes the attempts by Los Angeles clothing store owner Thierry Guetta to capture on film the world of street artists, previously hidden from public view. Banksy, who has developed quite an underground reputation for outrageousness after posting his own paintings in the Met and other museums, is shown hooded, in shadows, and with his voice distorted.

He begins the film by explaining that the movie was supposed to be about him but when Guetta's attempt at film-making proved to be unwatchable, he took over the making of the film and it became a documentary about Guetta, and how he was transformed into the street artist known as "Mr. Brainwash". Narrated by Welsh actor Rhys Ifans (slotted to play Edward de Vere in the upcoming Roland Emmerich film Anonymous), Guetta is an garrulous and outgoing Frenchman who carries his video camera with him wherever he goes, filling up tape after tape. After meeting with his cousin known as Space Invader, a graffiti artist famous for mosaics showing characters from the Space Invader video game, he is introduced to Shepard Fairey, the man responsible for the Obama "hope" campaign in 2008 as well as street artists Monsieur André, Swoon, Sweet Toof, Borf, and many others.

Shepard and Thierry become partners in the clandestine world of graffiti-making and, even though Shepard feels that that there is something not quite right about Guetta, he is happy to have him around as a "security guard" who is willing to climb tall buildings to locate the most lucrative spots. Eventually, Thierry realizes that, in order for his film to be successful, he must find a way to find the reclusive Banksy. He finds Banksy, however, almost impossible to track down. The power of intention works wonders though, for on a trip to Los Angeles, Banksy himself contacts Thierry to ask for his help in finding the best places to post in L.A. The end result is an ongoing relationship and a Banksy art show called "Barely Legal" that does extremely well financially. As far as its artistic merits, I will leave that to others to decode.

After Banksy tells Guetta to leave his tapes with him and go put on his own show, Thierry does just that, renting an old CBS Studio and transforming it into a factory where he endeavors mightily to put on his own show "Life is Beautiful" under the name "Mr. Brainwash". The 2008 show, aided by an L.A. Weekly cover story, earns Thierry over one million dollars and catapults the Frenchman into the ranks of the world's most popular street artists. Exit Through the Gift Shop may be the real deal or it may be a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the gullibility of the public and the crass commercialism of the art world but only Banksy really knows. It does, however, provide a fast-paced and highly entertaining glimpse into a world that has, heretofore, eluded the camera because of its secretive nature and dubious legality.


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