Exit Through the Gift Shop

( 4 )

Overview

Exit Through the Gift Shop marks the feature-film debut of notorious street artist Banksy. The documentary's focus is French-born L.A. thrift-shop owner Thierry Guetta, whose apparent compulsion to videotape every moment of his life led him to document the phenomenon of contemporary street art. Guetta's cousin, a street artist known as Space Invader, allowed the avid cameraman to tape him as he illegally spread his artwork, and Space Invader also introduced him to other street artists, whose work Guetta captured ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Subtitled)
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Overview

Exit Through the Gift Shop marks the feature-film debut of notorious street artist Banksy. The documentary's focus is French-born L.A. thrift-shop owner Thierry Guetta, whose apparent compulsion to videotape every moment of his life led him to document the phenomenon of contemporary street art. Guetta's cousin, a street artist known as Space Invader, allowed the avid cameraman to tape him as he illegally spread his artwork, and Space Invader also introduced him to other street artists, whose work Guetta captured on tape. Eventually, Guetta hooked up with Shepard Fairey, who was best known before he created an iconic Barack Obama campaign poster for his widespread stickers featuring an image of the late wrestler Andre the Giant over the word "OBEY." Guetta soon hears about the mysterious street artist/prankster Banksy, and becomes obsessed with finding him and videotaping his exploits. Thanks to Guettta's growing reputation among street artists, the two eventually meet and form a sort of partnership. Guetta even videotapes Banksy's infamous "Gitmo" prank at Disneyland, wherein a handcuffed, hooded figure in an orange jumpsuit is placed beside one of the rides. They get along quite well until Banksy suggests that Guetta stop shooting, take the countless hours of footage he's accumulated, and start assembling them into a documentary. Banksy eventually takes over the documentary project, and inadvertently pushes Guetta's creative energy in a new direction, as Guetta becomes a kind of street artist himself, with shocking results. Exit Through the Gift Shop, narrated by Rhys Ifans, had its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. While it was very well received, there was much speculation as to the documentary's veracity and the provenance of Guetta, his videotape, and his artwork. Given Banksy's reputation, that should not come as a surprise.
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Special Features

B Movie - An Exclusive Film about the 'art' of Banksy; Deleted Scenes; Life Remote Control (Lawyer's Edit)
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Exit Through the Gift Shop marks the feature-film debut of the subversive street artist Banksy, and it's a movie fully worthy of the artist's scandalous reputation. Exit tells the fascinating, often hilarious, and finally somewhat disheartening tale of Thierry Guetta, a French-born L.A. thrift-store owner and compulsively self-chronicling videographer who sort of accidentally begins documenting the phenomenon of contemporary street art. Over the course of the movie, we learn how Guetta's footage ended up in Banksy's capable hands, and how Guetta went from being an obsessed if haphazard chronicler of the scene to being a successful "street artist" himself. Exit is also about how Banksy and Guetta started out as subject and documentarian and ended up with their positions reversed. "He turned out to be a lot more interesting than me," explains Banksy, the mysterious filmmaker, photographed in shadow with his voice disguised, at the beginning of the documentary. While it's true that Guetta is a compelling subject, it's also true that he craves the celebrity that Banksy shuns. The movie makes it clear why many street artists including Shepard Fairey and Space Invader were happy to have Guetta tag along and videotape them as they illegally disseminated their work. For one thing, the nature of their work is ephemeral, and a video document offered the chance of some kind of preservation for posterity. Guetta himself is as fearless as the artists, helping them move equipment and keeping an eye out for the authorities. In one of the more nerve-wracking sequences, Guetta is busted at Disneyland while taping one of Banksy's more politically inflammatory installations. The park was essentially shut down, and Guetta was questioned for several hours. Guetta earns Banksy's trust, but their relationship sours when Banksy finally sees what Guetta has done with all his footage. This leads to Guetta beginning his new career as a street artist, under the name of "Mr. Brainwash." Exit is a wonderfully rich, absorbing, and fun documentary. It embodies the subversive energy of the scene it documents, capturing both the playfulness and the underlying critique imbedded in the work of Banksy and his fellow artists. It's also a fascinating portrait of a unique 21st century eccentric. But perhaps the movie is most compelling where these two elements clash, and a freewheeling document of an unpredictable and rebellious underground culture becomes a movie about that culture's predictable and depressing if ruefully amusing commercial co-optation. It examines the commoditization of art through a specific form -- subversive illegal street art -- that initially would appear to be uniquely resistant to commoditization. Because of Banksy's reputation as a prankster, some have suggested that Thierry Guetta and by extension "Mr. Brainwash" is a fictional creation of Banksy. Banksy has denied the allegation, of course, and after seeing Banksy's work and the amazing documentary he's made, one suspects that if he was directly responsible for Guetta's work, the art of "Mr. Brainwash" would be a lot more interesting.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/14/2010
  • UPC: 896602002326
  • Original Release: 2010
  • Rating:

  • Source: Oscilloscope
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:26:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,425

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Banksy Participant
Rhys Ifans Voice Only
Thierry Guetta Participant
Space Invader Participant
Shepard Fairey Participant
Technical Credits
Banksy Director
Zam Baring Executive Producer
Geoff Barrow Score Composer
Jim Carey Sound/Sound Designer
Billy Cushing Executive Producer
Jaimie D'Cruz Producer
Tom Folford Editor
James Gay-Rees Executive Producer
Chris King Editor
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Exit Through The Gift Shop
   Play Movie
   Set Up
      Audio
         5.1
         Stereo
      Subtitles
         English: On/Off
            English: On
            English: Off
         English For The Hearing Impaired: On/Off
            English For The Hearing Impaired: On
            English For The Hearing Impaired: Off
   DVD Extras
      Extra Features
         More Brainwashing Deleted Scenes
         Life Remote Control (Lawyer's Edit)
         A Star Is Born (MBW at Cans Festival)
         B Movie - A Film About Banksy
         Play All
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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