Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Exit Through the Gift Shop

I figure that if you're a fan of street art, you've already heard of Exit Through the Gift Shop, a film by Banksy [1].  If you haven't, well hey, there's this movie you'll probably want to see because you know and love all things Banksy [2].

For you who would not designate yourselves as fans of street art, this film isn't actually about street art--if it were, it may not have been Oscar-nominated for best documentary.  In fact, street art fans may not enjoy this film as they may want more street art [3].  What this film really is about is an obsessive-compulsive with a camcorder named Thierry.  

He starts following and filming street artists.  You think they'd be suspicious, but Thierry has an in.  His cousin is Invader, the celebrated street artist known for breaking Rubik's Cubes into bits and making Space Invaders mosaics, which have invaded cities around the world [4].

The artists do eventually ask Thierry what he's doing with all the film.  This is a sort of pivotal point, when Thierry tells them he's making a documentary about street art.  He hasn't been to this point, does he really mean to start now?  I'm used to fictional characters in Hollywood films lying and getting themselves in ridiculous situations.  Now Thierry is committed to documentary-making, like it or not.  Of course, after awhile, the question becomes, How's the documentary coming?

I don't want to spoil the original documentary that was to be made of this footage.  It's something you should see, and you'll get a taste of it in Exit Through the Gift Shop, which you'll recall is a film by Banksy, not Thierry.  Exit goes on to explain how it became Banksy's film, and what becomes of Thierry, who you will have come to like as an eccentric, street artist lookout and accomplice.  By the end of the film, you may have different feelings about Banksy, Thierry, and the fate and future of street art and artists.

Post no bills:
1. Check out Exit Through the Gift Shop from the library

2. Learn more about Banksy at wikipedia

3. We've got more street art
    If you are a fan of Banksy, we've got a few things you might be interested in
    If you are a fan of street art, we've got a fancy bibliography and other stuff

4. Learn more about Invader at wikipedia

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