At The Movies #20 Exit Through The Gift Shop

After weeks of Brooklyn Heights Cinema having movies that I either saw already or weren’t that interested in seeing, it has filled its two theaters with two movies I have been looking forward to catching, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Holy Rollers. The movie poster above and the title of this post may have given away which I went to see first.

For those who don’t know, Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary about Thierry, a novice filmmaker, and his immersion into the world of street art.

Or is it? There seems to be some debate whether this is a documentary or a mockumentary in the vein of This is Spinal Tap. The director of Exit Through the Gift Shop is not Thierry, but is the mysterious street artist Banksy, one of the subjects of the movie, who is from the onset the most enigmatic. He is cloaked in shadow and his voice is digitized, which immediately makes him seem like he’s the only one who knows what’s really going on.

No one knows Banky’s true identity.
I suspect he’s Chancellor Palpatine.

Another reason why this all might be fake: Thierry’s facial hair makes him kind of look like Harry Shearer in This is Spinal Tap.

Zey call me zee French Derek Smalls.

If it is fake, that makes the art show for Mr. Brain Wash towards the end of the movie all the more awesome, since it was covered by LA Weekly, attended by big stars and fetched high prices for a potentially non-existent artist.

Or was it?

Whether it’s a real documentary or not, I enjoyed Exit Through the Gift Shop tremendously. It’s highly educational for anyone with even a passing interest in graffiti, or the Obama campaign for that matter. Shepard Fairey is one of the artists featured in the film. From watching his segments, I’m surprised that the vandalism squad of the police force doesn’t have every Kinko’s on lock down.

This might be my inner geek talking, but this is my favorite kind of graffiti.

You should go see Exit Through the Gift Shop, and when you do, catch it at Brooklyn Heights Cinemas. It’s a great place to see a movie.

If we had seen it a day earlier, we might have run into Michael Showalter, according to Twitter. He only tweeted that he saw the movie and liked it; he didn’t indicate where he saw it. But he lives in Brooklyn Heights, so there’s a decent chance he saw it at Brooklyn Heights Cinemas. Hmmm, maybe I’ll carry around my State DVD boxed set and a sharpie with me next time I head there for a movie.

What do you mean stalker-like tendencies? 

I liked Exit Through the Gift Shop so much that I plan on Netflixing the DVD as soon as it’s released, to see the movie again and to check out the bonus features to get insight into the film. Finally! A movie where I’m actually excited for the bonus features section of the DVD. When was the last time you said that?