Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010): United States/United Kingdom – directed by Banksy
Rated R by the MPAA – contains a little strong language
I’m not sure any of Exit Through the Gift Shop is real. There’s a very good chance it occupies a strange place between the obvious prankery of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and the self-purported veracity of films like Paranormal Activity [review here]. It at first presents itself as an entirely possible documentary about a strange obsessive person, but then blossoms into something so much more that it is likely to be a mixture of performance art and hoax. If you would rather know nothing about the film, please stop reading, as I will discuss much of it in detail. The film is worth seeing, as it is one of the most intriguing films of 2010.
Thierry Guetta (if there is such a person), is an obsessive videographer. After an early childhood trauma he began to videotape every aspect of his life, documenting every minor detail. He is married, with children, and runs a boutique clothing store in Los Angeles. He buys bales of clothing with odd designer’s names on them, for $50, then sells each article for $400. He is able to make $50,000 off of one bale. This is entirely plausible, particularly in L.A.