Exit Through the Gift Shop Reviews
An exhilarating hall-of-mirrors look at what happens when global art fame turns anonymous, artists become objects, fans turn into artists, and the whole what's-sincere-and-what's-a-sham spectacle is more fun than art was ever supposed to be.
Droll, aerosol-thin and ultrameta, a movie about a movie that supposedly was but actually wasn't being made about Banksy by his amiably bonkers Boswell, a compulsive French videographer named Thierry Guetta.
The brilliantly untrustworthy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop reminds us that a film can start out in one direction and then change course so radically, it becomes an act of provocation unto itself.
Some have suggested that the whole story, including the emergence of Mr. Brainwash, is an elaborate hoax engineered by Banksy to satirize the commodification of art. If so, it's a brilliant one.
Exit Through the Gift Shop, credited as "A Banksy Film," poses some bitingly funny questions about the meaning and value of art. Is it in the eye of the beholder? Is it truth plus beauty? Anything you can get away with? Brainwashing?
The plain fact is that, on some level, it doesn't matter whether the film is true or not. Either way, it's fascinating. Either way, we learn a lot. Either way, it's a great film.
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.