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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

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Released 11-Oct-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio & Animation
Short Film-Life Remote Control (Lawyers Edit)
Featurette-A Star is Born
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 82:17 (Case: 87)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Banksy
Madman Entertainment
Starring Banksy
Shepard Fairey
Thierry Guetta
Rhys Ifans
Space Invader
Joshua Levine
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Exit Through the Gift Shop is a film put together by infamous British street artist (read: pretty clever graffiti artist) Banksy, who chooses to keep his real identity a secret just as much for the publicity the enigma generates as to avoid the legal issues around the nature of his work.

     Narrated by Rhys Ifans, the film was primarily shot by Thierry Guetta, a reasonably successful fashion store owner with an obsesses ion for filming everything and anything. When he began to get into the street art movement through his cousin, a French street artist known as Space Invader (named for his trademark Space Invaders inspired mosaics), Guetta took to spending his nights following any artist he could on "the job" and filming every minute under the guise he was putting together a documentary. This film tells the story of the Street Art movement through Guetta’s discovery of it and ultimately his evolution to becoming a street artist himself under the instruction of Banksy. The artist Guetta becomes, "Mr. BrainWash" (aka MBW), seems a lot more like an absurd Andy Warhol factory experiment with a scattershot smattering of pretentious, frequently ambiguous, faux-political statements that mimic frequent themes found in more memorable street art (like that of Shepard Fairey, who features prominently in the film).

     The history and evolution side of the affair is quite interesting and reasonably well told in a somewhat clumsy but seemingly comprehensive fashion. The evolution of Guetta into the "street artist" Mr. BrainWash is riveting and will keep viewers talking for weeks. Essentially it raises the question as to whether Mr. BrainWash is really an artist or whether he is an elaborate hoax orchestrated by Banksy to ridicule the power of hype on the pretentious side of society, perhaps even something that started as a hoax but began being taken seriously by its vehicle, Mr. BrainWash. The question ultimately turns to the age-old "what is art?" - after all, even if the whole thing was intended as a hoax if people like it, is that not art? and if that is the case, does this mean the whole thing backfired on Banksy? or was it always intended just to confuse people like myself, whilst conning oodles of money out of them? If so, the wallets of the celebrity folks taken in by the whole thing have been hit a lot harder than mine (to date it's been hit for the price of admission to this film and a gallery exhibition - I'll live). The roll call of celebrities buying into the Street art thing include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who make substantial purchases of Mr. BrainWash's work, captured within this film, and Madonna who actually commissioned Mr. BrainWash to do one of her album covers.

     Exit Through the Gift Shop is both fascinating and subversive, everything a good doco should be. Highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality


     The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The footage in the film was largely shot using a variety of consumer grade cameras over the course of several years. The video looks as good as you could ask from the source, but all manner of artefacts are present at various points, ranging from colour bleeding to pixilation. Contrast and brightness levels are a little inconsistent between different bits of footage, although only enough to bother the pickiest of viewers.

     This is an RSDL disc with a layer break well placed between chapters at 55:47.

     The film features no subtitles other than occasional forced English subs where foreign languages are spoken or dialogue is hard to make out in the source.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The film features an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The audio is of a very good standard. The mix is well balanced. The dialogue is generally clear and easy to understand and on the couple of occasions where they aren't, be it from a source drowned by background noise or because of heavy accents, subtitles are provided. There are no sync issues

     The film features a Drum'n'Bass heavy score by Geoff Barrow, with additional bits by Roni Size. It is a very fitting score for the themes and general style of the film.

     The surrounds carry a little environmental audio but the main thing they are noticeably used for is to add dimension to the music used in the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


More Brainwashing Deleted Scenes (5:11)

     5 interesting but inessential deleted bits from the film.

Life Remote Control (Lawyers Edit) (15:04)

     Allegedly heavily edited on legal advice, down from some 90 minutes, this is a version of the documentary Thierry Guetta edited together from his footage. It is a schizophrenic mashup of ideas that really doesn't go anywhere, but gives you a good idea of how the mind of someone with serious ADD works!

A Star is Born (7:04)

     A short featurette following Mr. BrainWash's contributions to one of Banksy's LA shows. Well worth a look after seeing the main feature for an extra slice of Guetta’s hyperactive personality.

B Movie (A Film About Banksy (13:39)

     A short documentary specifically about Banksy. Starting from his tagging roots, the film briefly charts his evolution from a daring young vandal to a cheeky, subversive artist, in the process alienating fellow graffiti artists. This doco features some hilarious interviews with traditional critics and other artists.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The film is not yet out in Region 1. The Region 4 and Region 2 versions are identical on-disc save for regional branding however the Region 2 edition features slightly nicer packaging that includes a few stickers and "2D viewing glasses" as worn by the rat on the cover of the DVD (a limited edition version featuring the UK style packaging is initially available in Region 4, so keep a look out).


     A brilliant document of the modern Street Art movement Exit Through the Gift Shop is an unmissable film.

     Video and audio are of a high standard given their source recording format, although a lot of the footage was recorded over the course of years with different consumer grade cameras. The extras are genuinely worthwhile, as the cover itself states!

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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