“The film is the story of what happened when this guy tried to make a documentary about me,” says the British graffiti artist Banksy at the start of the very entertaining documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop (in select theaters 4/16). “But he was actually a lot more interesting than I am. So now the film is kinda about him.”
Of course, the elusive Banksy—who closely guards his anonymity (he appears on camera with his face in shadow and his voice distorted)—is an intriguing figure, which is why Frenchman Thierry Guetta wanted to make a documentary about him. But Banksy ended up turning the camera around, becoming the director instead of its subject, and the film focuses on the eccentric and obsessive Guetta instead. The result is fascinating and wholly enjoyable, with footage of street artists (including Banksy and Shepard Fairey) in mid-creation and a funny, tongue-in-cheek comment on the (occasionally nutty) contemporary art world.
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