Last summer, a fellow cinephile breathlessly praised the mysterious street artist Bansky and his unique documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, but I didn’t get what it had to do with a gift shop (note to self: write related post about gift shops), so I chose not to go see it at the Carlton. Besides, (yawn) I see a movie every Tuesday so I’m selective about what I see on other days of the week.
Well, that was my loss for about ten months. I finally had the good sense to stream the movie to my iPhone (an exciting first experience in and of itself) over the course of several recent morning commutes.
This was the craziest, most fun, interesting and exciting film I’ve seen all year. I loved the opening montage, I loved the crazy Frenchman Thierry posing as a documentary filmmaker, and I loved the mangled British accent coming from the direction of a hooded Banksy, the phenomenal street artist who still refuses to reveal his identity. I loved every moment of it, save for the several moments spent waiting for the stream to buffer.
It was truly exciting to see various artists crank out large-scale posters, spray-paint the shadows of street furniture, and make their marks – big and small – on the darkened cityscape. They fell off ladders, out-ran cops, and pasted, copied, and sprayed their hearts out. Later in the film, their art took on new meaning when put on formal display for the scrutiny and admiration of L.A. celebrities, collectors, and scenesters.
One of the best parts of the film was videographer Thierry’s transformation from curious to obsessed to egomaniacal. It was incredible and maddening.
Finally, Exit through the Gift Shop has cleaned up at film festivals and awards shows in the last two years (including a 2011 Best Documentary nomination). See this movie if you haven’t already.
About this blog
I'll use this space to write about movies, bikes, communications trends, pop culture, and my adventures as a new New Yorker.