Exit Through the Gift Shop

Out Now On-Demand

"Flagrantly attention-seeking but famously anonymous, Brit street-artist/prankster Banksy has now put his name to this energetic, headily entertaining item of art-world provocation. The film was supposed to be about him, and ultimately it is, but Banksy turned the camera on Thierry Guetta, the wannabe LA artist who was documenting his activities. Unhappy with Guetta’s footage, he provoked him to go off and create some gonzo art-market capital for himself – with disturbing results. Audiences elsewhere have been indulging in wild speculation about the true nature of Banksy’s participation. Who’s pulling whose strings here? A great time is guaranteed figuring out your own take on the myriad issues at play." (NZ International Film Festival 2010)

Trailers

Directed by

Documentary

87mins

Rating: M contains offensive language

USA, UK

Official Site

Banksy, you may know, is an iconoclastic UK graffiti artist who somehow manages to maintain a secret identity while selling his (beautifully) stencilled idents for a fortune. Loved and loathed in equal measure, it’s hard to tell if he’s a great artist or just a great piss artist – a problem Exit, his first film, refuses to solve.

Narrated, almost in inverted commas, by actor Rhys Ifans, and filmed on the fly, it’s the story of obsessive documentarian Terry Guetta, a hanger-on who spends so long brown-nosing Banksy’s crowd he eventually becomes a Warhol-alike pop-art sensation. Problem is, none of it appears to be true.

Droll, but not funny; authentic-seeming, but not real, Exit is a strange oxymoron of a film, like a straight-faced Spinal Tap or a Man On Wire for liars. If Guetta’s story is true (which it really can’t be, although there are magazine covers and exhibitions to back it up), it’s quite depressing. If it’s not, then Exit is just an excellent but ironic piece of self-promotion, which is quite depressing too.

Pick your way through the different levels of artifice, though, and there’s a point in there somewhere. Banksy’s fake documentary about Guetta is actually a real documentary about Banksy, told from one remove, with interesting points to raise about the commercialisation of art, which Banksy does with great success. While purists may take umbrage, Exit is done so well it’s impossible to ignore, even if you want to. Much like the man himself.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

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The widespread speculation that Exit Through the Gift Shop is a hoax only adds to its fascination.

Empire (UK)

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A provocative and typically post-Postmodern debut from the artist known as Banksy.

Guardian (UK)

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This teasing faux documentary about Banksy and his fellow street artists is priceless – and hilarious...

Hollywood Reporter

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Hugely entertaining documentary challenges conventional concepts of legitimate art and the creative process.

Los Angeles Times

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Subversive, provocative and unexpected, Exit Through the Gift Shop delights in taking you by surprise, starting quietly but ending up in a hall of mirrors as unsettling as anything Lewis Carroll's Alice ever experienced.

New York Times

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Exit could be a new subgenre: the prankumentary. Audiences, however, would be advised simply to enjoy the film on its face -- even if that face is a carefully contrived mask.

Total Film (UK)

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Interviewed in identity-concealing shadow, the appealingly wry Banksy freely admits he’s no film pro. But while stylistically the film’s merely adequate, its French subject is as diverting as a motorway pile-up.

Variety (USA)

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A raucously entertaining postmodern survey of guerrilla street art that appears to be one thing, only to fold back on itself and examine would-be filmmaker Thierry Guetta instead.

ViewAuckland.co.nz (Matt Turner)

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A brilliantly conceived, superbly directed and hugely entertaining documentary that's well worth seeking out. Highly recommended.

Utter BRILLIANCE.

I watched this as part of my Philosophy of Art uni course, but I would totally recommend this to anyone interested in art, street art in particular - or, just really quirky filming! :D

First of all, it raises honestly interesting Qs about the nature of street art, which is really interesting to think about in itself. And then, of course, the brilliant tongue-in-cheek way of getting us to debate over whether or not its a hoax... well, if that doesn't deserve praise, I'm not sure what does :D

Review

user


Review

Let's get something straight: hoax or not (personally, I think it's somewhere between the two), Exit Through the Gift Shop is a movie that dares to ask it's audience the question which has confounded anyone with too much time and intellectual-muscle for their own good since paint first touched cave-wall... WHAT THE HELL IS ART?

Specifically, Banksy's film wants us to wonder what art means in a world where commerce has superseded community; where personal worth is measured by consumption; and where celebrity is now a marketable commodity, career aspiration, and benchmark for personal fulfilment, all in one.

That it manages to raise so many loaded questions while maintaining the energy, irreverence, and seriously-kidding humour that one would want from a straight documentary about Street Art, is no small feat.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is wildly entertaining and gives plenty of food for thought - that much, at least, is definitely true...

Well Worth The Look

user


Well Worth The Look

A great look into the underworld of street artists (or should I say stencil art). A funny little story with an even funnier twist. I found this movie both interesting and humorous. I recommend it.

freshdude

Ted

user


GREAT !

Just go see it and judge for yourself.

Personnally what I liked best about it can be resume in those words: "The first Street ART DISASTER movie".

An unusual film but worth the watch

user


An unusual film but worth the watch

The film shows with a bit of drive and determination anything is possible. Well done, good laugh. Good insight underworld street art

Funny as, great doco.

user


Funny as, great doco.

As Christopher says - Matt Glasby's review says "not funny"?? This is hilarious.

Otherwise, as everyone here agrees, this is an intriguing and very fun watch. Something different, and recommended. Plenty to talk about after. Can't believe it's not playing more locations...

Brilliant

user


Brilliant

Not sure I agree with you on the humour quotient. I was in stitches. The straight faced way the beloved Banksy reveals his distaste with Thierry whilst creating the monster he so despises is pure gold.

You must see this film

Highly recommended

user


Highly recommended

This doco is fantastic... don't read too much about it before going. It's really funny, has some wonderful characters, and brings up a great discussion around art and it's purpose today.

Brilliant!

user


Brilliant!

This film is brilliant, hilarious and true, an exciting look into the mastermind behind Bansky and many other street artists.

I'd highly recommend it.