Tag Archive: exit through the gift shop

The Best Films of 2010

I’ll go out on a limb and declare 2010 the best year for movies since I’ve been watching them, going back almost fifteen years. That has something to do with Netflix, through which I’ve accessed more foreign, independent, and documentary titles than ever before, but it’s more a credit to the work of great filmmakers.

2009 was the nadir. That year had no shortage of good films, and a few great ones, and I unreservedly stand by each I listed among the best, but there were few I felt unequivocally passionate about, few that held up against previous years’ offerings. I started to question myself, wondering if I’d lost some of the thrill of moviegoing. 2010 put that fear to rest.

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Dir. Banksy
(2010, R, 85 min)
★ ★ ★ ★

There has been speculation about whether Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by a mysterious street artist known as Banksy, is fact or fiction. Banksy himself is an elusive figure, anonymous, and much of his art seems to be about itself, created to be seen and to comment on the seeing; our reactions are his canvas. But after watching the film the question of reality seems irrelevant. Either way it’s about the same thing: the intangible nature of art, which may be created with thoughtless delusion yet be valued as a work of genius. Why? Because we’ve been convinced that it is, we convince ourselves, and then we convince each other. The art of this film is showing how art may be a blank page; whether a work of painstaking discipline or the hapless fumbling of a dilettante, if we imbue it with meaning it has meaning, and if we do not it does not. So whether Exit Through the Gift Shop is true or a complete fabrication is beside the point. Art itself is a joke, and the joke is always on us … Read the rest of my review at Culturazzi.org.