Exit Through The Gift Shop
is a documentary by French filmmaker/obsessive filming hobbyist Thierry Guetta about Banksy
and the street art scene, unless it's a documentary by Banksy about Thierry Guetta.
Guetta carries a camera wherever he goes and films everything. When he discovers that his cousin is the street artist Invader, he becomes the unofficial documentarian of the rising street art movement, meeting and accompanying prominent artists like Shepard Fairey. He eventually sets his sights on the most famous and elusive street artist of all: Banksy. But everything turns around when Banksy inspires him to become a street artist himself under the name Mr. Brainwash.
The film's official website is here.
Exit Through The Gift Shop provides examples of:
- Agony of the Feet: A downside to constantly filming rather than looking where you are going.
- Art Imitates Art: Mr. Brainwash's art is exclusively created by combining pre-existing images. His general style is accused of being derivative of other street artists.
- Awesome McCoolname: Invader, Mr. Brainwash, etc.
- Buffy Speak: Guetta lacks the vocabulary to describe Banksy.
- Documentary Of Lies: The film's producers claim it's 100% legit, but it's still a matter of debate how much of the film has been fictionalized. Of course, that just makes the film more interesting.
- Elephant in the Living Room: Banksy's exhibit features a literal elephant in a living room.
- Le Parkour: In the opening credits, a teenager jumps onto a roof to, apparently successfully, evade two cops.
- Mind Screw: Guetta claims to be making a documentary about Banksy and other street artists, but he's really just filming mindlessly because he just loves to film street artists. Then he finally does make a documentary of sorts, which he calls Life Remote Control, and it's terrible, so Banksy ends up making his own film about Guetta. Or it's all a hoax and everyone involved is screwing with the audience to make a point. We will probably never know.
- Phoney Call: After the Disneyland prank, Banksy calls Guetta and figures it's time to leave when Guetta replies as if he's talking to his wife. Guetta is already in park custody when he takes the call.
- Real Song Theme Tune / Thematic Theme Song: Richard Hawley's "Tonight The Streets Are Ours" isn't literally about street art, but rather about creative sterility. And of course, there's the chorus.
- Reclusive Artist: Banksy is hard to get in touch with and hides his identity.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Wharf rats are a motif in Banksy's art.
- Sliding Scale of Law Enforcement: Nearer to the negative end, for obvious reasons.
- Spiritual Successor: Some consider this film to be a successor to Orson Welles's film F for Fake. Like ETTGS, it is a documentary assembled largely through found footage that analyzes the nature of art.
- Stylistic Suck: Life Remote Control (assuming Exit Through the Gift Shop is indeed a mockumentary).
- Take That: Most of Banksy's work.
- The Faceless: Banksy, Invader, and several other artists do not allow their faces to be filmed.
- Weirdness Censor: Banksy puts a mannequin dressed like a Guantanamo Bay detainee in the middle of Disneyland, but Guetta, filming the piece, is the only one who gets caught.
- Wild Hair: Guetta.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Common in graffiti.