Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mr. Brainwash stumps Banksy in "Exit Through The Gift Shop" - A

I'm finding it difficult to explain what I have just witnessed. I thought this movie would be about Banksy, the greatest street artist in history. Which it sort of was. I also expected to see street art in motion, to witness the vandalism first-hand. Which, I did in fact see. What I didn't expect, was a strange Frenchman named Thierry Guetta.

Who the hell is Thierry Guettta? In the beginning, he's father of three kids with a wife and a video camera that he never lets go of. Then, he becomes a cultish follower of the street art movement, traveling the world to capture the actual artists themselves. Then, he comes an apprentice to noted artist Shepard Fairey (of "OBEY" fame). Then, he's introduced to Banksy and becomes his right-hand man after Guetta proves he would never snitch on his master. Then, Banksy encourages Guetta to become an artist and open his first exhibition. And then, Thierry Guetta evolves into MBW (Mr. Brainwash), whose art sells for over $1 million in its opening weekend.

Wait! What the hell just happened?

I don't know if this movie was meant to be some sort of mockumentary to prove that art is truly meaningless...was it?

This usually doesn't happen to me, but I really am having a hard time describing this movie. In my personal experience, that's usually a sign of some degree of greatness.

"Exit Through The Gift Shop" has my official endorsement for this year's Oscar for Best Documentary. Really, really great stuff.

Even if it was a joke.


  1. I agree with you, I loved this film so much, it's my favourite documentary of the past year and is actually better than many films of last year...
    I personally think it was all true though, I had no problem believing any of it...it had some really interesting things to say about art's modern state.

    Great review by the way!

  2. The question of who/what Brainwash is rages on to this day, but the events you see within this film are completely true. Thierry did start out as the man behind the camera, and ended up as the guy creating the art he was once documenting.....and people actually did come in droves and buy his work for insane amounts of money.

    That the film makes you question whether his art is real, and likewise start to broaden that question towards other artists is a stroke of genius.

    Glad you liked this film!


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