Banksy’s film 2009

In case we get a chance to see Banksy’s film “EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP” in London, we have read a few reviews which gave us lots of information related to the anonymous artist and his philosophy. We also answered some questions about them in class.

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Exit Through the Gift Shop

A Banksy Film 2009

Run time: 89 min. | U.S.A., United Kingdom | color


In the late 1990s, a hybrid form of graffiti began appearing in cities around the world. Enlisting stickers, stencils, posters, and sculpture and spread by the burgeoning Internet, it would be labeled “street art” and establish itself as the most significant counterculture movement of a generation. Los Angeles-based filmmaker Terry Guetta set out to record this secretive world in all its thrilling detail. For more than eight years, he traveled with the pack, roaming the streets of America and Europe, the stealthy witness of the world’s most infamous vandals. But after meeting the British stencil artist known only as “Banksy,” things took a bizarre turn.

Sundance has shown films by unknown artists but never an anonymous one. Banksy turns the tables on the only man who has ever filmed him, creating a remarkable documentary that is part personal journey and part an exposé of the art world with its mind-altering mix of hot air and hype. In the end, Exit Through the Gift Shop is an amazing ride, a cautionary modern fairy tale . . . with bolt cutters.

QUESTIONS

What kinf of Festival is Sundance?

Where is it held?

What’s shocking about this documentary?

Review from artofthestate

Banksy’s film ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ was announced 21st January 2010 and was scheduled to premier at Park City’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The BBC reported “It is described as the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on him”.

Banksy said: “It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed”. He later elaborated to the Guardian “It’s a film about a man who tried to make a film about me. Everything in it is true, especially the bits where we all lie.”

John Cooper, director of the Sundance festival, described Exit Through the Gift Shop as “one of those films that comes along once in a great while, a warped hybrid of reality and self-induced fiction, while at the same time a totally entertaining experience. The story is so bizarre I began to question if it could even be real … but in the end I didn’t care.

“I feel bad I won’t be able to shake the filmmaker’s hand and tell him how much I love this film. I think I will shake everyone’s hand that day and hope I hit on Banksy somewhere. I love his work in all forms.”

UK Release date is 5th March.

QUESTIONS

What did Banksy say about his film to the BBC? What did he mean?

What did he say to the Guardian? What did he mean?

When is the UK release?

Review from the BBC

Notorious street artist Banksy, whose work has decorated his home town of Bristol and Israel’s West Bank barrier, has turned his hand to film-making.

Exit Through The Gift Shop will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, his agent told the BBC.

It will be the first time the elusive artist, who has never revealed his identity, has spoken on camera.

Billed as “the world’s first street art disaster movie”, its inclusion in the festival has been shrouded in secrecy.

Sundance organisers are due to announce its inclusion at a press conference on Thursday.

Unexpected stunts

Exit Through The Gift Shop was left off the official programme, but speculation about the festival’s Spotlight Surprise turned to Banksy after four stencils, believed to be by the artist, appeared on walls in Park City, where the festival is held.

Banksy is known for teasing his audience, toying with authority, and continually pulling the wool over people’s eyes to stage unexpected stunts.

Last year, he installed 100 of his artworks in Bristol’s council-owned museum under the noses of top officials, and once smuggled a blow-up figure of a Guantanamo Bay detainee into Disneyland.

Exit Through The Gift Shop will have its world premiere at the festival on Sunday.

It is described as the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on him.

Infamous artist

Banksy said: “It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed”.

The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work.

But until the film is shown, it is not known whether Banksy’s identity will be revealed.

In the past, the artist has both mythologised and subverted his own image, so the film could raise as many questions as it answers.

John Cooper, director of the Sundance Festival, said the story was so bizarre that he questioned whether it could be real.

“Exit Through The Gift Shop is one of those films that comes along once in a great while, a warped hybrid of reality and self-induced fiction while at the same time a totally entertaining experience,” he added.

Exit Through The Gift Shop is due to open in UK cinemas on 5 March.

QUESTIONS

What does the film contain?

What does John Cooper think about the story?

How does he feel about the film?

Sundance 2010 Festival

Banksy’s Filmmaking Debut Nabs

Spotlight Surprise at Sundance

Here’s one film where the director absolutely won’t be doing interviews in Park City: Exit Through the Gift Shop, the feature filmmaking debut of infamously anonymous British street artist Banksy. And even that status is under suspicion this morning, as no one actually knows if Banksy directed the “pseudo-documentary” or if its classification as “a Banksy film” is just another of the world-class hoaxster’s curious stunts. But! It’s not all mysterious; click through for what we do know – including a trailer!

Whoever officially directed Exit, the film will premiere Sunday night in Park City with the intriguing potential for Banksy actually being at the Library Center Theater. And for once, festival organizers said in a release sent out this morning, you’ll see the artist at work along with Shepard Fairey, Invader and other renowned graffiti kingpins. Not that the movie doesn’t have a story, we’re told: “Exit Through the Gift Shop is the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur filmmaker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results,” the festival announced. Actor Rhys Ifans provides narration, and Sundance fest director John Cooper added that “[t]he story is so bizarre I began to question if it could even be real.” Which is par for the course even for Sundance films that don’t feature the world’s most enigmatic street artist, so I feel for the guy. Banksy himself described Exit as “the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed.”

THR this morning has a little more background on what to expect: “L.A.-based filmmaker Terry Guetta set out to record this secretive world in thrilling detail. For more than eight years he traveled with a backpack through Europe and America. After he met a British street artist known only as Banksy, things took a bizarre turn.”

Formidable Sundance sales agents Cinetic Media is representing Exit with the hopes of locking in a distribution deal. Others attending the festival, meanwhile, should keep at least a little bit of a lookout for Banksy and friends; at least one of his colleagues is said to be helping out with “stealth promotion.” Can’t wait; I always thought the side of the Eccles Theater could use a mural of Robert Redford peeing on the wall.

Anyway, here’s an official trailer, featuring the man pictured above, who I doubt is Banksy but who has one of the few faces featured in the video. The mystery continues, at least for a few more days…

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