An Analysis Of Exit Through The Gift Shop

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Exit Through the Gift Shop is an experimental film that tries to disguise itself as a documentary. Experimental films are those that “actively seek to defy categorization and convention” (Barsam and Monahan, p. 77), and Exit Through the Gift Shop most certainly does that. Experimental films can also be recognized by their subject matter (which is generally non-mainstream), they do not conform to conventional expectations of film, are usually made by independent filmmakers, they draw attention to their artifice, and they offer a critique of culture and/or media (Barsam and Manahan, p. 78 and p. 496). Exit Through the Gift Shop attempts to be a documentary, but the lack of a clear non-fiction subject matter prevents that categorization, as …show more content…
After watching the film for a while, and noticing several subtle ways that the filmmakers are drawing attention to the paradoxical and artificial nature of the film, it becomes clear that this isn’t actually a documentary. As Peter Bradshaw wrote in a review of Exit Through the Gift Shop in The Guardian, “As a documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop is as about as reliable and structurally sound as that house-front with the strategically placed window that falls on top of Buster Keaton. As entertainment, though, it works very well.” The filmmaker actively seeks to make categorization and classification of the film difficult by incorporating and retaining elements of a documentary and a direct cinema style while still exhibiting so many characteristics of an experimental film. This deliberate blurring of the distinctions of film styles is categorically …show more content…
Guetta’s art show, his very first public exposition, is an incredible success. One has to wonder why that is. It’s not because his work is incredibly original—in fact it appears quite similar to Banksy’s style. Nor is it because he is a well-known artist. Rather it’s because he created a lot of hype surrounding himself, and people completely bought in to the hype without knowing anything about it, because they were afraid of missing out. This blatant consumeristic view of art and wanting to have the latest and greatest before anyone else, and not wanting to miss out on anything, is what I think the actual subject of the film is. Exit Through the Gift Shop gives a scathing critique to our current culture surrounding art and the ease of which consumers get caught up in hype. Experimental films are known for their critique of culture of the media and Exit Through the Gift Shop, about all else, offers that critique. I think one of the biggest cultural critiques it offers is that many parts of the film are completely ridiculous and paradoxical, and yet people will take the entire film as truth. This willingness to accept what we are told is authentic at face value is I think what the filmmaker is trying to mock our current culture for the

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