Starring: Banksy, Thierry Guetta, Space Invader
Running Time: 87 mins
Exit Through The Gift Shop is a British documentary about the rise of ‘Mr. Brainwash’, from his beginnings as a happy-go-lucky cameraman to his explosion on the street art scene, and his relations with other famous street artists from around the world.
From legendary street artist Banksy, this is an ingeniously subversive documentary that provides a largely unknown, but amazingly bizarre true story about the life of one of the strangest people on the planet.
Thierry Guetta, AKA ‘Mr. Brainwash’ is the main subject of the film, as it documents his journey through the world of street art over the course of a decade or so.
However, one of the reasons that this film is so brilliant is that it never tells you where it’s going to go with the plot. Of course, it helps that this true story is so incredibly strange, but it’s a really rare treat when you get to watch a documentary that is full of extreme unpredictability from start to finish.
What I mean by that is that the film gives off the appearance of a normal documentary, however the way it progresses is much looser and more unorthodox. Guetta’s position as the main focus appears to come about as some sort of an accident, and that theme continues throughout the film, that he is a man whose life shouldn’t be happening as it is, and that’s amazingly fascinating to watch.
So, the style of the documentary is the fact that it disguises itself as a normal film, but instead tells this bizarre story in a hugely original, and massively compelling way. What’s more, however, is that the tone of the whole thing is also ingeniously off-beat.
From the start, you can tell that it’s got a slightly comedic twist to it, such is the insanity of the content, but as it unfolds, you begin to realise that it’s not portraying Guetta in the way that any normal documentary biopic would do, and instead taking a more satirical approach towards his story, and in turn also looking at the state of the modern art world using Guetta’s life as a case study.
Overall, Exit Through The Gift Shop is a brilliant documentary, full of unpredictability, bizarre style, ingenious humour and a really weird story to tell, and that’s why it gets an 8.0 from me.