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Exit Through The Gift Shop
DVD disk
01.14.2011 By: J.A. Hamilton
Exit Through The Gift Shop order download
Director:
Banksy

Actors:
Banksy
Thierry Guetta
Shepard Fairey

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Street Art phenomenon Banksy leads us through a series of events that would change his underground world forever. When an eccentric French dude with a camera starts popping up here and there filming street art, some of the artists think heís crazy while others start to think heís a genius but none of them could imagine where Thierryís ambition would truly take him.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
As a fan of art and being a bit of an artist myself (Iíve always loved to draw), Iíve always found myself interested in graffiti. For one, thereís an unimaginable difference between drawing and painting and beyond that an even bigger difference between using a paint brush and using a paint can. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is a provocative look into a world most people know exist but very few get the chance to see or understand. Using stencils to help create these works of art seems a hell of a lot more logical and quicker than freestyle painting but again, Iíve never actually seen someone sitting there doing it before so Iíd have never known but Iím sure glad I got the chance to see it now.

The one time I actually did see something similar to this was back in Toronto when BATMAN BEGINS was coming to theatres. My girl and I were walking out of the Eaton Center Mall and some dude was creating a flawless representation of Batman on the sidewalk with different colors of chalk. Chalk, for Christ Sake and like I said, it looked flawless! What made me sad though was the fact the next rain would wash it all away like itíd never been there and the same could be said of a lot of the work the boys in this film put into some of their creations. Imagine for a second that the phone booth wasnít actually appreciated or picked up for that show like it later was, instead just picked up by a dump truck and destroyed. What a waste that wouldíve been and thatís something Iím not sure I could live with if I were these guys.

Banksy is an interesting character and the same sort of artistic genius I expected him to be. He reminds me of one of my best friends, Dan, who from the time I met him in Art class in grade eleven, had me mesmerized my his artistic abilities. Banksy has raw talent and if I were Thierry Iíd have scoured the Earth to meet him as well. Sure, this meeting didnít go the way either of them expected it to go but such is the way of the world and itís obvious that no one saw the end result coming. Iím going to honest here; I thought Thierry was an idiot from start to finish. I have no idea how he was able to justify being out at all hours of the night with strangers, all over the world, spending all his money while he had a family waiting for him and depending on him at home. Sure, in retrospect itís easy for them to seem like they were okay with it here in the film knowing how it all turns out but I have a hard time believing they were so nonchalant about it while it was happening.

EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is an interesting watch if youíre into any form of artistic expression or if you just like to see how gullible people still are in this day and age. My fellow reviewer Chris Bumbray had this film in his favourite ten of 2010; I personally think thatís a pretty tall order considering this is a documentary/mocumentary type film but that said Iím very glad I caught it. When it comes to the film itself, thereís a lot of running around doing the same thing which makes this a slow burn at times but like most journeys itís where they end up that counts and trust me it wonít disappoint in that regard.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes: Thereís not much here for substance, just a few thirty second to one minute clips of randomness that pretty much are on par with the rest of the film.

A Star is Born: Here we have seven minutes of Mr. Brainwash at Banksyís Cannes Festival in 2008. Again, thereís not much going on, just fragments of randomness that could have easily been added to the film.

Life Remote Control: This is the fifteen minute Lawyerís edited edition of Thierryís original hour and a half documentary film that he presented to Banksy. You have to see it to truly believe it but itís everything Banksy said it was.

B Movie: This thirteen minute short film is about Banksy and what made him doing what he does best. I would have rather sat through a two hour Banksy film rather than see how Thierryís came into being.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Iíve always wondered why people would pay outlandish sums of money for abstract art that looks like it was half-assed put together by a moron with nothing but dollar signs in his or her eyes. Well, after watching this film I can see that I probably wasnít far off the mark in most cases. Thierry used SNAKES ON A PLANE tactics and it worked for him, a part of me doesnít want to believe itís that easy or that people are that gullible but I guess sometimes the truth hurts.
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