Exit Through the Gift Shop...this is the type of rare documentary magic that makes you want to share this story with others. And it's not a story that's easy to sum up, without...well telling the story.
The most concise premise I think I could write would basically be that this film is about a documentary by a famous graffiti artist named Bansky who initially allows a crazy french shop owner video tape him doing his work, and instead of being the subject of a documentary ends up using the footage to make a documentary about the shop keeper instead.
That being said getting from point A to point B is documented and told in an intriguing way with an interesting cast of characters that includes people named Space Invader, Borf, Neck Face, and the less secretive Shepard Fairy.
There has been some speculation about this film being a complete hoax, but I found that hard to believe, and instead simply found the film fascinating on many levels, and could only imagine how different people might watch it with different interpretations of the people as either heroes, misfits, genius, or insane. And I suppose the lens also only fuels the opportunity for interesting conversations about this documentary.
Rhys Ifans does a great job narrating, the footage and story telling elements are fantastic, and the entire progress and reveal of the story is just plain entertainment.
It's my recommendation you get your hands on this documentary, and then we can discuss it some more. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments if you have seen it.
It'll be interesting to see what happens with this film and the Academy Awards. Exit Through the Gift Shop is one of the 15 films that could be nominated, and it is generally assumed Exit Through the Gift Shop will be one of the films, and a contender for the prize. It may be a little early to make such predictions, but I will say, this is a rare documentary that is certainly different from all the other contenders, and if it wins I think there is definitely some curiosity at who would accept the award, especially under Bansky's mask of identity secrecy.
That alone might be worth some votes. But of what I've seen this year, this film would get my vote as well. Thank you Bansky for making this film and Mr. Brainwash (Thierry Guetta) for your obsessive video-taping (and for not forcing us to watch your own documentary Life Remote Control).