Over the last couple of days the internet has been buzzing about the much anticipated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, a film by and about the elusive and anonymous British street artist Banksy. Exit Through the Gift Shop is the critically acclaimed first feature film by the renowned Banksy and was one of the hottest tickets of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The U.S. premiere on Monday night at the historic Los Angeles Theatre brought out well known street art enthusiasts, artists, celebrities, and of course the paparazzi all eager to welcome Banksy back to the states and hopefully to catch a glimpse. Although I was unable to attend the premiere (driving to LA from Orange County on a traffic heavy Monday is a super human attempt), I was fortunate enough to catch one of the special advanced screening of the film last week thanks to Charm School Marketing+PR.
Exit Through the Gift Shop is the story of how eccentric LA based French Shop keeper Thierry Guetta’s obsession with documenting the rise of modern day graffiti/street results in Guetta’s own overnight transformation into street art sensation Mr. Brainwash. The stars align one night for Guetta as he finally locates and befriends the holy grail of street artists, Banksy, to document his work while in LA, but we soon discover that this chance encounter ultimately leads to the creation of MBW. Guetta’s failed attempt to produce a street art documentary allows Banksy to turn the camera back on Guetta and deliver Exit Through the Gift Shop. The film contains rare and exclusive footage of Banksy (in action and in his studio!), Sheperd Fairey, Space Invader, and a cast of some of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work, on walls, and in interview. It provides an incredible insight into Banksy’s world as he plans and executes one of his most audacious stunts at Disneyland. The film also go behind the scenes of Banksy’s successful 2006 LA show Barely Legal.
Of course the LA premiere wouldn’t be complete without a couple of Banksy original adorning the streets….
If you’re fan of Bansky, graffiti art, street art, “art”, humor, culture, or social commentary you will to watch this film.
Exit Through the Gift Shop opens in selected theatres across the US starting this Friday April 16th. For a complete schedule on release dates and cities check out banskyfilm.com.
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