19 June 2010

Something in Another Time

A recent visit to Nashville's Belcourt Theater to see Exit Through The Gift Shop proved to be time well spent. For those unfamiliar with Banksy - a very mysterious and often demonized British artist - this was his first film and it proved to tell as much of a story and create as almost as much controversy as his art.

The project started out as an idea conjured up by French ex-patriot, Thierry Guetta, after a trip home to find that his cousin - the famed French street artists known simply as "Space Invader" for his repetitive placement of characters from the famed 80's video game in public spaces - was well immersed in the underground world of public street art. And Guetta, being a man who filmed everything started collecting hundreds of hours of film from "Invader's" fly-by-night art.

What became an obsession, led Guetta to connect with the infamous L.A. artist, Shepard Fairey (some may recognize Fairey's work with his use of the "obey" art featuring wrestler, Andre the Giant). And when one thing led to another, Guetta and Fairey hooked up with Banksy in L.A. and over a series of months, Banksy began to trust Guetta to film him. This ultimately turned into the idea to make a documentary about international street art using Guetta's film exclusively.

However, after collecting years of footage, Guetta pieced together what Banksy considered to be a disaster of a film. And this sparked the idea for Banksy to turn the tables and make a documentary about Guetta (who would quickly become know as Mr. Brainwash for his attempt to make subtle and repetitive suggestions through his version of street art).

Sounds confusing and complicated, right? It is, to be sure. But with a final product pieced together and released by Banksy and his team, the end result is a wonderful documentary that's engaging, often hilarious and sparks the debate about what art really is. The story is fantastically told and the film is one of the more enjoyable documentaries that's been out in quite some time.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home