Ok so I finally got around and watched Exit Through the Gift Shop. Saw it on a lot of Top 10 lists. First off I know pretty much nothing about the street art scene and any of the artists. I unfortunately live in a small town in Illinois that is surrounded by cornfields. I do not live anywhere near Chicago or any other major city. So every artist that is talked about in the movie this is the first time I have ever heard of said artist. I knew the basic premise of the documentary and that was pretty much it. The documentary is extremely informative and takes you into a world of artists that few understand. I am sure people that live in cities like Los Angeles, New York City, London, Paris see the art displayed on buildings and various objects on a daily basis. You see this art but you don't see who placed it on the building or street light or what ever object it is on. After watching the movie I was left thinking it is all bullshit and a big hoax. According to the director Banksy it is 100% true. Well maybe so but I still have my doubts maybe that is just part of Banksy's mind fuck.
Well the basics to the story is Thierry Guetta a french man that is living in LA is addicted to his video camera. He loves to document everything on the camera. He meets up with graffiti artist Space Invader and documents everything he does with his graffiti art. It is a spiral effect as he meets more and more graffiti artist and follows along with them while they are working on their art. He meets up with the infamous Shepard Fairey. He travels around the world with Shepard filming everything. Then he hears about an artist by the name of Banksy. Thierry is hellbent on meeting Banksy. Unfortunately Banksy is like a ghost and is very hard to track down. Only few people know him and it is tight circle of friends. Well due to Thierry's friendship with Shepard Fairey he finally gets to meet Banksy. He does slowly earn the trust of Banksy and is allowed to film him at work on his art. Banksy is extremely secretive as you never see his face or hear his real voice in the film. Well by this point Thierry has boxes and boxes of tapes that he says is going to be the documentary on graffiti art. Banksy finally puts the pressure on him about making this documentary. Thierry gets to work on the documentary and it utter and total shit. Banksy is the first to screen it and was not impressed with what he saw. So Banksy takes the tapes and tells Thierry to go and create his graffiti art that he has been doing on the side. Thierry creates a name Mr. Brainwash (MBW) that he uses on his graffiti art. What Banksy doesn't realise is that now he has created a monster with MBW. While Banksy is putting together the documentary MBW is making quite the name for him self in Los Angeles. MBW sees dollar signs with graffiti art and not the art itself. MBW is putting together a gallery show and gets Shepard Fairey and Banksy to recommend him to the media. Well MBW gets what he is after, exposure fame and fortune.
Honestly the story is very in depth and you see what a cluster fuck Thierry is. He has documented so much on the graffiti art scene he could probably make multiple documentaries. There is a scene where you see all the boxes of tapes and it is amazing how much footage he has collected. To bad he is an idiot and not a true filmmaker we could see a whole 10 part documentary on the Discovery Channel and the BBC. It really left me thinking still if it is all bullshit. The commentary by Rhys Ifans is great and Banksy is smart and witty and is funny as hell. Watch and make the judgement for yourself.