I saw Exit Through the Gift Shop at Sundance and just rewatched it on Netflix, where it’s available on demand. I loved it as much the second time, and I’m still as convinced that there’s a prank going on here. I just don’t know where the prank begins, or if it ever ends. After all, Mr. Brainwash had another show in February of this year… although the timing of that show made for a nice tie-in with the Sundance premiere of Exit.
Whether or not the Mr. Brainwash stuff is real (again, I’m leaning toward it being an elaborate fake created by Banksy and Shepard Fairey), the inside look at the world of street art is fascinating. Big city dwellers can’t help but be kind of electrified when they see the familiar, omnipresent graffiti of the 80s and 90s being created on camera. And Brainwash’s reality doesn’t actually change the message of the movie, which attacks the commodity mindset of the art world.
This trailer is interesting because it includes some moments that are not in the finished film. The first bit, a guy walking into a sign post, is obviously fake - the guy holds his hand up to protect his face from the post. The whole trailer sort of emphasizes slapstick and broad humor, but this moment is really schticky and really phony. I feel like that if that shot had been in Exit we wouldn’t even be questioning if the whole thing is a prank.
As I said, Exit Through the Gift Shop is available right now on Netflix Instant, is on DVD, and is on most VOD services. This is a film you must see; it’s likely to end up on my best of the year list. It’s funny, it’s interesting and it’s just a damn well made film.