I'm glad I finally got to see this documentary - Exit Through the Gift Shop. I've heard a lot of great things about it from my peers, and I've been wanting to watch it since I sawthe trailer early last year. So did it live up to the hype? I would say so. It was interesting to see a story told of the cameraman who captured images of himself and others, actually being told by a different narrator. By the end of the film, it felt like, not only did Banksy create "Mister Brainwash", but also ironically brainwashed us [the viewers] in the process.
What I appreciated was how well the movie moved along. Being a fellow filmmaker, I could only imagine how grueling it must have been capturing and editing all those footages. The editors really need a round of applause for their amazing work. They were probably shooting themselves in the foot every day just to see if they could still feel the lower half of their body, and I wouldn't be surprised if they turned bald from pulling all their hair out.
I honestly don't have much to say about this film except that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it. Go watch it, you won't regret it. I don't want to go into too much depth or analysis because there's no way to try to explain myself without ruining the beauty of the film. The experience of watching it is the beauty. Just go watch it if you haven't already, and we could talk about it via comments or in person over some coffee/whiskey/both (if I know you).
A film like this creates an interesting dilemma in my opinion. It definitely has the potential to imbue a strong sense of social effect because of its dynamic relationship between the viewer and the character within the story. However, this is a genre of film that is very underrated – Documentary. Documentary films are not garnered with overwhelming positive feedback, mainly because of the lack of exposure. I’m not saying that the majority dislike documentary films, it’s just most people don’t know of many documentary titles or where to view them (if they have heard of it before.) Most documentary films don’t have the budget nor are they picked up by big companies (i.e. Warner, Universal, Disney, etc.) for a mass distribution around the main theaters.
Maybe it’s because documentary is a difficult genre of story telling. Ironically enough, although documentaries have innate stories to tell, if there isn’t a strict set of rules of how to tell the story, it is very easy to beat around the bush. Maybe the majority really doesn’t adhere to the genre of film. Maybe documentaries are boring because instead of helping the viewer escape reality, it only shines light to it. Or maybe it’s not widely distributed because of how powerful documentaries can be. Maybe some people are afraid that it could bring social change faster than we want. Whether that change is positive or negative. Or maybe I’m just rambling on too much and getting lost within my own thoughts.
Maybe I should just shut up so you could stop reading this and go watch the damn movie.