Jeffrey, I am happy that you don't plan to see I'm Still Here
, I wish I wouldn't have. To be fair, I thought it was going to be so much better. I had actually thought that I would like it better than Exit...
. Instead the Joaquin Pheonix film made my, "I Wish I Could Get Those Two Hours Back" list.
If I found more merit in the work that the street artists were doing, I would be more interested. But I quickly tire of their Fight the Power mode, except in rare instances of inspired, whimsical expressions. In this film, the imagery was pretty ugly; and the art in question was rather brash and annoying. The disrespect for law; the revelry in lying; the adolescent rebelliousness of the people in question; and the general unpleasantness and irresponsibility of the film's central subject were... hoax or otherwise... rather wearying to me.
I can see how this would affect your viewing and interest. I have an affinity for the rebel (or rebellion) and I am drawn to Bohemia. Overall I found Exit Through the Gift Shop
to be a richly layered documentary (possibly fauxumentary) and an incredibly satisfying experience. The fact that it was also entertaining was an added bonus. Or maybe a complete distraction to the material and conversation it had, hmm...anyway...
Just some quick thoughts as I continue to nurse my migraine.
I liked the Blair Witch style mystery beginning and the sort of campy feel of hunting for snipes with a serious tone, as to not completely dismiss it from the get go. This also set a rythm for entertaining.
One thing I did go back-and-forth about was whether or not I believed Thierry Guetta was "real." Regardless, I thought this character/profile was done well and became easy to accept.
Street art is an interesting world. The transiton of that idea, the form and context, into an art gallery or museum is an upclose look at the process of how form and content are asorbed into the formal world of "art."
It could be said that this is a modern version of the decline of the Salon de Paris and institutional approval of art (creating and patronage) and the emergence of the impressionistic style and artist.
Once art changes into an acceptable form it begins to lose its meaning and the content becomes less and less poingiant. Slowly it becomes commericalized and the power is lost.
This film also deals with urban issues and gentrification and how the artist in an integral part of both.
It asks questions like, "What is art?" and "Who can make art?"
It focuses on artistic communities and the network(s) necessary for a created object to become art.