Exit Through the Gift Shop | Chicago Reader

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Rated R 87 minutes 2010

A movie of billboard-size ironies, this tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French wannabe who spent eight years videotaping street artists (Banksy, Invader, Shepard Fairey) as they executed their illegal works. When pressed to deliver his long-promised documentary, Guetta assembled an unwatchable mess called Life Remote Control, then switched gears and, assisted by a cover story in LA Weekly, reinvented himself as a Warholian pop artist called Mr. Brainwash. Meanwhile Banksy—a Brit whose identity has never been revealed and is protected here—turned the tables on Guetta and made this highly amusing documentary about him. Since Exit Through the Gift Shop premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, some have suggested that the whole story, including the emergence of Mr. Brainwash, is an elaborate hoax engineered by Banksy to satirize the commodification of art. If so, it’s a brilliant one.

Film Credits

Producer: Holly Cushing, James Gay-Rees and Jaimie D'Cruz

Cast: Rhys Ifans

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