Catherine Hickley reviews Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop on Bloomberg after seeing it at the Berlin Film Festival:
And the story he tells is hilariously outrageous –somehow too implausible NOT to be true. It offers plenty of opportunity to poke fun at the art market, and intriguing insights into the ingenuity — and agility — of the street artists themselves.
We first meet Thierry Guetta, the sideburned, excitable and obsessive Frenchman the film is about, as a fashion retailer in Los Angeles with a flair for marketing. He buys bags of clothes for $50 each, repackages them with a “designer” label and sells them for thousands of dollars.
He then gets a video recorder and becomes addicted, filming every detail of his life, no matter how banal (cue clips of toilets flushing). […] Guetta helps Banksy find locations for his art in the U.S., and the artist agrees to be filmed — only his hands, and only from behind. Guetta is there when Banksy hangs a blowup Guantanamo prisoner in full view of Disneyland’s steam engines, and is held by the police for questioning. While he waits, the artist tries a few rides.When it finally dawns on Banksy that Guetta isn’t going to create anything watchable with his boxes and boxes of footage, Banksy tells him to go off to Los Angeles, set himself up as an artist and hold an exhibition, while Banksy makes the film.