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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Proceed Forward and Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop:  4 out of 5 Stars
Shepard Fairey: Keep your eye out for the cops.
An interesting and often quite funny documentary with the realm of street art as its subject. The films starts off with one quirky French man living in LA, filming everything he sees with his camera, only to develop an obsession with capturing the work of street/graffiti artists, then leading to his goal of capturing the legendary street artist Banksy on camera and following him around. Banksy is found by our French hero, only to have the tables turned around, as a certain reveal (in a sense) is made and the subject of the doc takes a new turn.

The film was made from the thousands of unmarked or unorganized tapes recorded by our Frenchman, Thierry Guetta, and directed (somewhat) by the mysterious Banksy, who is in the film, speaking about some of the events that occur, although without showing his face and having his voice altered to preserve his anonymity. The reason Banksy ends up directing much of the film is actually one of the funniest moments in this film.

Upon starting, this doc is much more about being interested in the world of the street artist, and offers up quite a bit of info about the process, which includes the work of Shepard Fairey (if you don't know who this is, I'm sure a certain president can help you out), as well as the process involved in prepping certain "art projects" and some of the skill needed to be sneaky about it.

Once the film has its tables turned, it becomes more of an examination about the way hype, fame, and ego (in a sense) make up a man, which makes it both interesting and also very funny. The different direction that the film takes in its later half certainly makes this an entertaining doc with more to offer as it continues on.

Banksy: I suppose the moral of the story is...well...I don't really know the moral of the story.

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