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Exit Through The Gift Shop DVD Review

“Exit Through The Gift Shop” holds your interest from start to finish.

For those wondering what exactly “Exit Thrugh The Gift Shop” is all about, allow me to explain. The film begins with an introduction to vintage clothing store owner/film and street art enthusiast Thierry Guetta. We learn that Thierry is obssessed with filming anything and everything and has a particular interest in recording street artists for his own personal interest. As the film progresses, we see Thierry shooting street artists on the job, studying their styles and techniques, etc. As he becomes further enthralled with this world, he tries to track down the famous street artist Bansky. As luck would have it, he manages to find him (albeit his identity is kept anonymous on film) and the two become friends. Banksy eventually convinces Thierry to make a documentary film about street artists since he has already shot countless hours of film. Thierry decides to take his friend’s advice and makes a film called “Life Remote Control.” After he screens it to Banksy, however, it turns out to be a mess. Facinated by his filmmaker friend and his footage, Banksy decides to make his own documentary film about his bizarre friend Thierry. Seeing how obssessed with art Thierry is, Banksy decides to persuade Thierry to become an artist himself. Once again, Thierry takes his advice and begins working on art. As time passes, we see Thierry (AKA Mr. Brainwash) putting on an art show for his pop art. Will Thierry be a successful artist or fail miserably? That would be spoiling the ending.

If you’ve read the above plot synopsis, you should know that no one is quite sure if this is a documentary or a phony documentary. To be honest though, it doesn’t matter as the film is still entertaining and has a point. Personally, I feel the movie is meant to be as big of a joke as the art world is as evidenced by the ending of the movie. I think the filmmakers wanted to make a statement about the art world and they succeeded in that regard. Would I have prefered to see a more straight forward documentary about street artists or Thierry and Banksy? Perhaps, but this intriguing possible faux documentary approach to filmmaking manages to be a nice departure from the usual documentary film.   

Summary: You don’t have to be interested in or even like street artists to enjoy this oddball film. Give it a watch if for no other reason than to see how weird Thierry really is.

The 1.78:1 widescreen picture quality varies in quality like any documentary. Generally, the film looks very grainy and not very picturesque.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is so-so. The narration is clear, but a good chunk of the dialogue from interviewees requires the viewer to crank up the audio due to poor audio recordings.

Extras include 2 postcards, 2D viewing glasses, 2 stickers, 5 deleted scenes, an edited version of Thierry’s possibly real film about art titled “Life Remote Control,” a featurette about Mr. Brainwash at the Cans festival, and short film about Banksy titled “B Movie.”

December 19, 2010 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

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