Art or prank? Banksy Film Reviews…

Gravely voiced distortion adds to the Grim Reaper effect, whereupon he slashes you with a one-liner.

Gravely voiced distortion adds to the Grim Reaper effect, whereupon he slashes you with a one-liner.

The Banksy movie buzz deafens and I feel like it will be at the local art theatre at any moment – Which would be fantastic because the very thought of flying to Utah last week scared me.  I’d rather hitch hike on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in a Village People costume.

AS A SMALL PUBLIC SERVICE  we provide the insatiable street art fans… here are some recent reviews from reputable rags, I mean sources.   If anything seems savory, click on the link to read the rest.

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Nathan Rabin @ Sundance ’10

by Nathan Rabin , The AV Club, January 27, 2010

Exit Through The Gift Shop: It’s hard to write about Exit Through The Gift Shop, or do it justice without revealing many of its twists and turns. That’s a damned shame, because so much of what makes legendarily secretive street artist Banksy’s directorial debut such a hoot is its unpredictability. The trippy art world satire begins with a loopy post-modern premise. In Gift Shop, an eccentric, street art loving Frenchman named Thierry Guetta set out to make a documentary about a new breed of artists who scrawl their masterpieces on walls and overpasses and nabbed the Holy Grail of street art fans when he hooked up with Banksy, (for more go to AV Club)

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Eyes on the prize

By Ty Burr, The Boston Globe  / January 30, 2010

But, yes, the Banksy film is that good, even if everyone here calls it “the Banksy film’’ because the actual title, “Exit Through the Gift Shop,’’ seems weirdly hard to remember. It’s a conceptual Chinese box that works: A doc about a filmmaker that’s directed by the subject that filmmaker was too hapless to actually make a movie about. Still with me? (for more go to the fifth paragraph)

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Banksy and Chris Morris prove hits at the Sundance Film Festival

By Damon Wise, The Times Online  / January 30, 2010


The first film from the street-art prankster Banksy was unexpectedly popular with the Sundance crowd, whose only experience of the artist’s guerrilla tactics was the mysterious appearance of five of his works around town.

Screened in the publicity-shy director’s absence, Exit Through the Gift Shop left some viewers wondering if Banksy really was sitting next to them, as the Sundance staffer introducing the film had hinted, although many more were left wondering how much of this funny and provocative documentary was actually true.

Starting with an exhilarating montage of graffiti artists (for more go to the TimesOnline)

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Banksy’s “Gift” challenges conventional concepts

Justin Lowe, Reuters, Tue January 26, 2010

Nonfiction cinema or provocation? Art or prank? Questions of authorship, authenticity and credibility cleave through “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” a nearly unclassifiable hybrid documentary film by international “street artist” phenom Banksy.

Originally identified as “Spotlight Surprise” in the film listings, Sundance programmers revealed the title only a few days before its January 24 world premiere.

Touching on contemporary cultural trends, the popular/high art divide and celebrity obsession while showcasing world-renowned artists, “Exit” offers broad audience appeal, particularly for urban and international viewers captivated by underground art, as well as film fans fascinated by unconventional narrative techniques.

(for more go to Reuters News Service)

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The Berlin International Film Festival has added the documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop” from British street artist Banksy to its official 60th anniversary program, completing its 2010 lineup.

“Exit Through the Gift Shop,” will have an out of competition screening in Berlin – so if you are going to be there on the 14th, get your tickets HERE.

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“A Culture Jammer’s Wet Dream” BSA Exclusive Banksy Movie Still from “Exit Through the Gift Shop”

In this still from the film Banksy contemplates momentarily between hell-raising and thrill-seeking.
In this exclusive still from the film, Banksy contemplates momentarily between hell-raising and thrill-seeking.

Last night the debut feature from Banksy “Exit Through the Gift Shop” showed at Sundance Film Festival. The secret surprise screening (announced the same day) was anything but – thanks to the power of leaks and Twitter, an army of PR machines, and the BBC. Somehow they filled the seats. And if you were looking for celebrities, Adrian Grenier, who has spent some times on Brooklyn’s mean  streets, was spotted in the crowd as they pushed their way into the theatre. So there, it’s officially hot.

Maybe part of the reason people anticipated the screening was because Park City, Utah is not a suburb of London, yet strangely a Banksy piece showed up on the wall of the local coffee shop, The Java Cow. You’ve seen it 10 times already. – Which is why the owner of the  little coffee shop is probably contracting a moving company to hoist his caffeine castle onto a flatbed truck and sell it to Goldman Sachs as a lobby trinket.

For more pictures of pieces attributed to Banksy during the Sundance Film Festival, see this collection from the good animals at People. I mean the good people at ANIMAL.

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