Corporations like to control things (it’s in their nature), and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a way of thinking, and acting, just like a corporation: as the once-a-year organizing police force of Hollywood pageantry and taste. Nevertheless, it still came as a bit of a shock when the Academy laid down the law to Banksy. He’s the super-secretive and mysterious outlaw wizard of street art, the infamous British graffiti prankster — and now filmmaker — who sets off pop images as if they were cartoon bombs. A big part of Banksy’s allure is that no one knows who he is. A guerrilla practical joker, he’s an underground superstar who lives and works in the shadows. When he finally shows up in Exit Through the Gift Shop, the great, exhilarating jape of a documentary that he directed last year, he’s seen in silhouette, like some hooded killer on America’s Most Wanted. At the very least, he may be the most wanted man in show business. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Exit Through the Gift Shop (1-4 of 4)
The Last Airbender, The Karate Kid, Eclipse? I’ve seen them, but don’t ask me, I’ve got no deep thoughts. Knight and Day? I reviewed it, but honestly, even if you bought a ticket, can you remember anything about that out-of-breath action/romance/comedy/spy thing-y except that Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz do some stunts on a motorcycle? I’ve been away from this space for a while because for the past six weeks or so, I’ve been nursing a mild strain of Hollywooditis — a gassy, grumbly feeling similar to what happens when I drink too much diet soda, with too much fake sweetener. No point exposing you to possible infection.
That’s not to say that there aren’t a bunch of really good, interesting films out, if you’re lucky enough to be near a congenial theater. If Cyrus, Winter’s Bone, Restrepo, Solitary Man, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Please Give, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, The Secret In Their Eyes, Wild Grass, The Father of My Children, I Am Love, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, or that little specialty number Toy Story 3 are playing in town, run — well, don’t run, it’s too hot — but walk briskly to program your own high-quality summer film festival. And you know how I feel about The Kids Are All Right: I think I’m safe declaring that, for me, it’s one of the best movies of the year. The Kids only gets better with repeated viewing. READ FULL STORY
Exit Through the Gift Shop is a marvelous, one-of-a-kind contraption, a joyfully spinning top of a movie that keeps zigging and zagging and taking the audience right along with it. It’s easily the cream of this month’s crop of movies, though it’s so tricky and layered that before I saw it, everything I’d heard about it made it sound a little…complicated. Maybe even intimidating. Not to worry: For all its through-the-looking-glass playfulness, it is really, at heart, a vividly direct and witty and biting look at the world of contemporary street art.
A lot of the kick of the movie is that the art itself is so much damn fun. There have been rumors, from the outset, that Exit Through the Gift Shop is a fake, a very crafty put-on documentary. I actually think that something quite the opposite is true; it’s more genuine than it knows. The movie is billed as “a Banksy film,” which implies that Banksy, the hit-and-run virtuoso of underground British street art (he’s one of the movie’s prime subjects), directed it, or at the very least that he’s pulling the strings. But such is the magic of Exit Through the Gift Shop that the movie’s ultimate what is art? joke comes almost directly at Banksy’s expense. And it’s not even clear that he’s fully aware of the joke’s ramifications. READ FULL STORY