Exit Through the Gift Shop

This movie is like a motivation to me, like drake said started from the bottom now we here, Terry AkA mister brainwash has started from the bottom by putting he’s graffiti drawing on the street, and he has encountered so many obstacles, like getting chased by the police officers for not having the right to put graffiti on the street, but that didn’t make him give up, he also have he’s camera with him everywhere he goes,filming everything he sees,  which get him in trouble sometimes, but it pushes him to keep going until he met Banksy, which changes his life because he has pushed him to think out of the box, and do bigger things, there was a part that he showed so many CD’s that he filmed in the past but he never gets back to them, I was saying in my head what’s the point of filming if you not gonna use them, but Banksy has pushed him to finally make a documentary using those tape that he filmed in the past and he named it remote control, it was nice and simple because it’s different from what we see every day. And he’s always trying his best to impress Banksy, it’s just like us we always trying our best in our videos to impress our professors, I mean sometimes is hard and you just feel like giving up because you think you did good but the professor doesn’t like it, but that’s what pushes us to try much harder. And it is the same thing with terry situations he could have to give up when it was hard but he keeps pushing himself and that’s what got him where he is today. Organizing he’s own exhibition, having people wait outside just to see him, all the hard work that he did pay off. And the moral of the story is to not overthink things, just go with the flow. And you can see at the beginning of the documentary he said that he owned vintage clothing, he used to buy old Adidas shirt and put he’s designing in it and sell it for a higher price. Terry been brainwashing people, I think that’s why he called himself mister brainwash, and people still buy his stuff isn’t that weird?
I really enjoyed watching the documentary and really like how they use his native language in it which is french it makes it much more fun to watch for me.

Kendra Martinez_Exit Through the Gift Shop

“It’s not about the hype it’s not about the money, it’s art. And you need to get this film out” -Banksy

Thierry is the Tommy Wiseau of the art world. This movie depicts the rise of Thierry AKA Mr. Brainwash. With the influence of other big street artists including Shepherd Fairey and Banksy, Thierry pursues art in his own interpretation. We are introduced into the journey of his film and recordings that he was drawn to all of his life but with the assistance of Banksy, someone he idolized and was star struck by, he attempts to become an artist overnight and does succeed in becoming a sensation in LA. However, his lack of effort and thought into his work led him to follow the path that chooses popularity over passion. Throughout his journey, he shadows these artists and eventually tries some of his own. When he attempts to do a show debuting his work he puts together art that is improvised and rushed. 

Sadia Miah_My Thoughts on Exit from the Gift Shop

Watching Exit through the Gift Shop (2010) made me think a lot about the complex nature of artistic integrity and what or who really defines it. Terry is a living example to why this idea is so complex and why the notion that artistry is subjective and has no rules, exists.

Throughout the film, it became clear that Terry had no hint of an artistic vision or even respect for the craft of street art from the get go (later on it seemed he did) but because he was so invested in filming, he just let himself go further down the rabbit hole to see where the craft would take him. Once he saw that there were artists like Banksy and Obey who were renowned around the world for their art, he took it as a nod that he could do the same and make a profitable venture out of it. Disregarding the fact that it was quite delusional.

Terry’s landfill of “designer” clothes

And I figured this was going to be the case because in the very beginning, Terry had a vintage clothing business in which he purchased items that looked different and resold them at a higher price because he claimed it was a designer piece – which is considered contrast to what artistic integrity is since he essentially is taking a piece of art, changing it’s meaning and therefore ownership and profiting off of if it. So when we consider the choice of the film to put this aspect of his character in the very beginning, means that some forshadowing was going to happen and lo and behold that was very much the case.

Now without going too much into this further (this is already an essay at this point), I will just say that Terry’s choice to profit off his art and use his ties with other respected artists for credibility, brings up the question of whether this is considered a “malpractice” of artistic integrity and from watching the documentary, I would say … I really don’t know. If anything I’m further confused by the whole concept, so thank you Professor Patkanian for that.


I’m glad I’ve had a lot to think about watching this film.

Zion Decoteau_Exit Through the Gift Shop

The documentary follows Thierry Guetta a.k.a. “Mr Brainwash” who follows the work of several underground artists. There seems to be an argument made in the film that not all street art is authentic, and many artists do it for the fame. This was also a different view of street art, as we got to see the contrasting community views of “authentic” vs “poser” artists. It was also interesting to see Shepard Fairey the creator of the Obama hope poster.

Paola Sacerdote_Exit Through The Gift


After watching “Exit Through the Gift Shop” the film appears to be about Thierry Guetta promise to graffiti artist Banksy of creating a documentary in exchange to filming Banksy around. Guetta entering the world of graffiti and becoming successful turns around the idea that graffiti artists are these private and protective people because Guetta is very open, somewhat foolish, and scattered. I don’t know if Guetta leaving his family and kids to follow his passion for filming that connects to his childhood traumas is any importance to the documentary message, but it’s something I notice. Overall, I believe the deeper meaning to this film is that anyone can become a street artist, but like Banksy said not everyone should, I believe because it dilutes the mystery behind the artwork. The image above (40:28) is a clip in the film of Guetta covering Obey art, illustrating that someone so well known as Shepard Fairey can be easily replaced by a regular individual.

Exit Through The Gift shop

This whole documentary is pretty much an origin story for Mr. BrainWash almost validating him in a way. Since most of the footage used depicts him as being one of the many people that have been following the world of street art world ever since it began in the mid-late 80s. Detailing how Banksy, Invader, Shepard Fairey and all of the other street artist inadvertently ended up creating the controversial Mr.Brainwash. Which has allowed him to build a new life for him and his family.
The use of archival footage taken by Thierry adds the history that Theirry has had in the street art world as a filmed, in addition to how he was able to meet all of these prolific artists. Also, the participatory nature of the documentary makes Therrys transition into a “street artist” give the story an easy timeline to follow.
Near the end of the documentary, Banksy said, “Most artist spend years, perfecting their craft, finding their style and Thierry seemed to miss out on all those bits.” Although Banksy has a point, what he said about Thierry “missing out” on that I’d have to disagree. Due to the fact that Thierry has been going through many of these artists’ journeys as each of them grew as an artist, and began to take over the art world.
Banksy’s quote also highlights the idea that anyone has the capability to become an artist since there is no limit to what art is.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop is about a man named Teddy who is obsessed with cameras and filming. The audience learns that he becomes obsessed because he lost his mother and never honestly knew anything about his family. So, to stop this he started filming everything in which he learns that he wants to tell the story about street art. While filming street art he learns everything there is to know about it by basically becoming a partner and investor for street artists. However, the audience learns through him sharing this story of street art that his real passion is being adventurous and being a street artist himself. The real point of the story is to show that sometimes people becomes partners and acquaintances with people who are actually living their dreams.

Response to Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary about Thierry Guetta, a filmmaker and shopkeeper, who becomes a street artist known as Mr.Brainwash. The story is told by Banksy, a proclaimed street artist who remains anonymous throughout the documentary— Banky’s fame began in England and took off ever since. This documentary was filmed in reflexive mode as Guetta, Banksy, and other street artists are filmed and interviewed. Thierry Guetta spends most of his time trying to find street artists— he started with his cousin known as the Invader and others who were very famous.  While watching the piece, at times, it felt as though the piece was not real. Banksy made a story of Thierry Guetta, his character seemed unrealistic; Guetta was clumsy towards his life and his career. Throughout the documentary, we see that side of Guetta while he is setting up for his big debut of Mr. Brainwash. He knew little about putting things together, and acted as if he did. 

The video that predicted the outcome of the movie was of Thierry Guetta’s shop in France. Guetta has a history of auctioning, at first it was clothing, and later on, he was doing the same thing with street art. 


Telvin Poledore_Exit Through The Gift Shop

After watching this film, I believe that the filmmaker is interested in the truth of exposing “Mr. Brainwash” of not really being an artist. I say this because throughout the film you could see that he is shown to be a “filmmaker” but once it was time for him to make a film, he couldn’t do that and once he got into art, he didn’t really put much into it the way the other street artists have done for years. Also, the interviews with Banksy and other artists alike agreeing upon the fact he cheated his way into the top of the art. world at the end is exposing that he did not really put in the work the way the other artists did. This point is shown with all the footage of the art he “made” and also when his “film” was shown that he does not really put the work in like he claims to. I feel that once he lied about being a filmmaker it made the artist title even worse for him.

Act of Killing Response

The Act of Killing documentary was very unusual to watch. Rarely do you see a movie, where a group of men talk about their violent wrong doings in the past. However, to them it was not wrong. It was being free. I do understand that the goal of this documentary was understanding that even though killing may be sadistic, it is still fun to watch because people like it. In fact, Anwar Congo himself stated that “Why do people watch James Bond… for action”. It was crystal clear throughout the movie that these men wanted to relive their past, where they were free and known as gangstas. They hated communism and killed others because of it.

The picture above was a conversation between Anwar Congo and Adi Zulkadry, while they were speaking of Anwar’s dreams, that are usually nightmares of him killing people. I found this to be very surprising because a man who claims to like killing people and boast about it… somehow feels guilty for doing so.