Exit Through the Gift Shop
That it’s called “a Banksy film” could mean a directing credit for the adored, elusive British street artist, or just that it was made in the spirit of his work: prankish, double-take-inducing and immediately appealing. The ostensible subject is one Thierry Guetta, a would-be documentarian (really, a footage hoarder; he is a fan of what he calls “the capturation”), who after getting initiated into guerrilla-graffiti mysteries by Banksy and Obama iconographer Shepard Fairey, among others, becomes a sort of self-made Warholian monster. With rakish narration by Rhys Ifans, this alleged documentary makes short work of the requisite conversation about art-scene commodification, authentication and blah, blah, blah. It’s a colorful cocktail of subversiveness, self-seriousness, wonder, horror and joy, and there is genius in its way of seeming at once calculated and quickly whipped up. Perhaps excepting the bit with the inflatable Guantánamo prisoner at Disneyland, which seems uncharacteristically less affirming than cruelly harrowing, it’s all in good fun.