Saturday was a bit gloomy so instead of running off to Chicago Bluesfest, the lady and I took in a screening of Exit Through The Gift Shop.
If you have not seen this movie then I highly recommend it to you. It's fascinating, educational and sweetly yet bitterly funny. I'm going to try not to ruin the movie for you, but if you're afraid that might happen I recommend clicking somewhere else and coming back later for your usual dose of dick jokes.
Exit Through The Gift Shop is a documentary about compulsive filmer Thierry Guetta - basically a French guy with a camera and a whole mess of tape - who infiltrates the world of graffiti artists by claiming he's a documentarian, and his gradual transformation from voyeur to eager participant to counterculture artist in his own right despite having no discernible artistic abilities of his own other than perhaps enthusiasm and an entrepreneurial spirit.
The tale is told by Banksy, the famous British pop graffiti artist responsible for such works as this:
Mr. Brainwash. The film in it's telling is very cool and interesting much in the way that that general style - counterculture, pop and street art - is very cool and interesting.
However, the most interesting part of the movie is Guetta's transformation and the ramifications for Banksy and artists of his ilk. One of the tenants of this type of art is that anyone can be an artist anywhere and at any time. Banksy himself tells of how he used to encourage people to make their own art. Following the story of Guetta's strange metamorphosis, Banksy tells us, "I don't really do that anymore."
At the end of the movie, those artists responsible for Guetta are left wondering what they've wraught in Mr. Brainwash and what it means for their art and it's worth. There aren't any answers really; just some worthwhile questions and a generally disturbed yet satisfying feeling that is entirely fitting.