***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Exit Through the Gift Shop - 5 out of 5
Thanks to the internet, I've become exposed to the amazing and thought provoking street art of the mysterious and elusive artist called Banksy. So, when a friend of mine told me that he was in a documentary about street art, I was nearly falling over myself in order to see it. On the surface, Exit Through the Gift Shop seems to be a documentary of the newest, most deviant and original art to take place since Warhol but, in truth, it was much more.
An eccentric and possibly mentally unstable man by the name of Thierry Guetta sets out to capture street art and the creative geniuses behind it. Guetta--like I said is eccentric--and video tapes nearly every second of his life due to some tragedies in his past and, by chance he meets the street artist who finds his inspiration through old arcade games called Space Invader. Watching Invader in action, Guetta sets out to see more artists create their one-of-a-kind art and lies to them about filming a documentary in order to try and meet the elusive Banksy. In reality, Guetta was using the footage he collected for...well, I guess it was for his personal use but he really just threw the tapes into a box. After meeting others artists, Guetta eventually befriends and helps Banksy. After spending years among the street art scene, Banksy convinces Guetta to give it a try himself (he did this after convincing him to actually create his documentary and then, after being horrified by the end product, told him to try street art and give up filming). After creating an alter-ego named Mr. Brain Wash (or MBW), Guetta creates a massive art show and accomplishes exactly the opposite of what street art was about...selling out.
The documentary is just plain fantastic! You get a glimpse at how the street artists work--even Banksy--and the evolution of Guetta from an interested party to a bastardized version of what he spent years watching is just plain interesting and addicting. And, to add a cherry on top, Rhys Ifans narrates the film--I guess that's a cherry on top if you like Ifans as an actor, which I do. Exit Through the Gift Shop is not only an interesting and fun documentary but getting to see Banksy in action--like when he infiltrated Disneyland to put up one of his pieces--is enough to warrant a viewing.