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Jun 28, 2010
Who would have predicted that an anonymous graffiti artist from Bristol, England would deliver what will undoubtedly be recognized as one of the best and most successful documentaries of the year? Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop tells the story of Thierry Guetta, an amateur videographer obsessed with street art who, with a little prodding from Banksy himself, finds himself on an unlikely journey from hapless vintage clothing store owner to rising star in the contemporary art market.
As a street artist, Banksy constantly provokes, humors, and beguiles his audience. As a filmmaker, he takes things to a whole new level. With this being his first film, Banksy displays a masterful hand at using the cinematic medium to probe essential questions about life, art, and the human condition . In the end we are left with some fundamental questions to ponder: What are the lengths we will go to seek acceptance and fame? Is art something that should (or can) be judged as "good" or "bad'? And if so, who should be appointed as the judges?
For us as viewers, what makes Exit Through The Gift Shop so fun and interesting to watch is that Banksy constantly keeps the audience guessing as to where the "story" is headed. Not confining himself to the traditional definition of what a "documentary film" is, Banksy makes you question just how real the film is. Is it all a hoax? Is Guetta controlling his destiny or is he a mere pawn in Banksy's grand chess game?
But the most important aspect-and the one that makes this film Character Approved-is that with 'Exit' Banksy injects a new and much needed vitality into the moribund independent film market. As film lovers we are forever grateful.