Exit through the Gift Shop is a documentary, giving the viewers and insight into the underground world of street art. Though it vividly shows street artists working in the streets, scaling buildings to acquire the perfect position and occasionally running away from the police, it is an entirely different film that has even been remarked as a ‘hoax’ by some.
Directed by the elusive street artist, Banksy, the documentary follows Thierry Guetta, a persistent French man who resides in Los Angeles, documenting everything that moves with his camera. This nature of his plunges him into the world of street art, in which he films many artists including Shepard Fairey and Banksy. His obsession with street art leads him on his own path that is revealed in the film.
The documentary itself is very interesting and as mentioned, a great insight into the grimy underground art movement which some class as ‘vandalism’. The film depicts many artists ‘doing their thing’, whether it be pasting a giant poster onto a wall or spraying a freight train with graffiti. Anything can be classed as art these days and this rising art movement is at the forefront. Guetta is willing to document it as his hunger for filming never seems to end.
The thing that drew me into this film was seeing these secret and mysterious artists such as Banksy at work. Though his face was obscured and his voice changed, it was interesting seeing him working on his next piece. There are segments within the film where Banksy offers his own thoughts into the events surrounding Guetta.
Thierry Guetta himself is described as ‘mental’ by Banksy who realises that Guetta is not the filmmaker he was setting himself up to be, in a scene which I thought was hilarious, as the viewer is shown Guetta’s own film on street art, which is a horrific mishmash of scenes that are all edited together in a way that they share no relation to each other. The elusive Banksy
I don’t really know how to describe this piece of work. I was expecting a documentary on Banksy but it turns out to be something completely different. It is an enigma. I really enjoyed this film though, even if some of Guetta’s life is not true, it was still very entertaining. This is something different and totally worth seeing.