Exit Through the Gift Shop

My daughter informed me that the film, Exit Through the Gift Shop was last year’s news and that somewhere along the way ‘I missed the boat’.  I also missed the conversation, apparently, because ‘everyone’ was talking about it.  Following the trailer I include below, you can view the movie in its entirety or you can find it on Netflix (Canada) as well.

This morning, early, my sister-friend, Karen, forwarded me, from A Good Movie to Watch, a listing titled

18 Best Movies On Netflix You Haven’t Yet Seen

18. The Goon (2012)
17. Ne le Dis a (with accent, however you do that) Personne (2006)
16. Frances Ha (2013)
15. Broken (2013)
14 The Ice Strom (1997)
13. I Saw the Devil (2010)
12. Samsara (2012)
11. Mr. Nobody (2009)
10. Boy (2012)
9. Get the Gringo (2012)
8. Submarine (2011)
7. Headhunters (2012)
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
5. Detachment (2012)
4. The Station Agent (2003)
3. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About a Father (2008
2. The Hunt (2013)
1. Short Term 12 (2013)

I’ve selected a number of these during my own viewing time and agree with some of the posted comments that generally this is a diverse collection of very intriguing movies.  Of the remainders to this list, I have to tell you that a number of them might be available on the American version of Netflix, but for whatever reason, they are not posted here in Canada.  Given that my prep for today’s colonoscopy (come on!  we can talk about this openly, right?) was cancelled/rescheduled due to the onset of a huge upper respiratory cold/flu, I decided to go in search of a morning movie. (DELIGHTFUL as compared to the alternative)

So…with box of soft tissue on the table next to me, a cup of hot lemon and honey, my fuzzy slippers and a big blanket, I curled up with remote in hand.

Broken, Boy and Ne le Dis a (with accent, however you do that) Personne were unavailable on Canadian Netflix…but, my fourth choice, Exit Through the Gift Shop (2006) was!  Love love loved the introduction to the film by Banksy!  As I settled in, I decided to click PAUSE and get my notebook because I sincerely felt smitten by the content that followed.

I guess that Rylan Broadbent was the first gentleman/artist/arts educator and all round smart man I’d met who taught me anything at all about street art and graffiti.  When I sat on a train from airport to central Paris, I remember leaning my forehead against the train window, in total awe of the images that appeared for miles along the grey cement retaining walls.  Apart from this experience and Rylan, however, I had little world knowledge about the movement of street art happening globally.

This movie was jam packed with information, as well as amazing archives of intimate happenings and interview segments between videographer, Thierry Guetta and some of the artists he had come to know through his own passion for making recordings.

All of the Mr. Brainwash stuff aside, I was intrigued by the fact that Thierry had such a strong compulsion to ‘capture’.  He had no interest in viewing his own recordings although he had carefully labelled and archived boxes and boxes of film.  Instead, he was obsessed for a period of at least ten years, with recording.  He had lost his mother at the age of eleven and had not been told, prior to her death, that she was sick.  From this, he developed a need to record absolutely everything as a response to his thinking…”Anything in my life would be the last time I would see it in this same way. I didn’t know how to stop.”

I have some sympathy for this and find, at times, my fascination with capturing ‘the moment’ in nature, reading, art, music, and my experiences with others, comes from a similar revelation about the temporal aspects of all.  Writing about or photographing a subject somehow causes it to be sustained for a moment in time.  I wonder if that is selfie craze is another manifestation of this practice.  Perhaps some people are insecure with the notion that their bodies are temporal and are evolving from youth to old age…and that photographs ARE the self.  The catch is, photographs are also ephemeral.

This movie got me thinking about a lot of things.  When Thierry Guetta takes on the mantle of Mr. Brainwash and successfully earns over a million dollars on his first exhibition, the viewer is left pondering the authentic aspects of art and confronts the forever-question again, “What is art?”  Mr. Brainwash has named himself well.  Even at the conclusion, other long time street artists are at a loss for words and Banksy promises to never be filmed again.

Street Artists mentioned in the film include,

Space Invader
Shepard Fairey
Sweet Toof and Cyclops
Ron English
Dot Masters
Buff Monster and
Mr. Brainwash

I hope to grab some permissions from photographers so that I can post some photos here soon.  For now, looking for some shots that I took of street art pieces I found in Hamilton, Ontario two summers ago.



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