Think of this as a documentary version of Inception. There are layers of truth and fiction that lead down many levels. The subjects being filmed are sometimes also making the film, and sometimes the subject of a real obsessive documentarian, but it is never clear what level you are watching. On the first level this is a documentation of street art beginning in the 1990s — and at this level alone it is worth watching. Street art means not just graffiti and stickers, but ironic stenciling, performance art, and even pranks in the manner of the guy who nailed his own painting on the walls of the Museum of Modern Art. That guy was the street artist Banksy, famous for both brilliant pranks and for keeping his real name and face unknown. For the first time Banksy is filmed in in action, pixelated. But who is filming him in this documentary? Is Banksy directing or someone else? This film itself is a prank about street pranks. It is a piece of street art, as much as a documentary can be, as indicated by its title reference to the moneyed art world of galleries (please exit through the gift shop). It is a fun ride and its intimate journey into late night urban art will really help you appreciate what street artists are trying to do (way beyond vandalism), and why it probably is the art of our times.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
2010, 86 minutes
$2, Amazon Instant Video rental
Read more about the film at Wikipedia
Rent from Netflix
Available from Amazon