It May Be Time to Accept That Exit Through the Gift Shop Is Real


Since last year served us documentaries as suspiciously constructed as I'm Still Here and Catfish, it was only natural to also question the veracity of Exit Through the Gift Shop — especially since its director, Banksy, is an inveterate prankster and because the movie's story line, which chronicles the transformation of inept filmmaker Thierry Guetta into art-world gate-crasher Mr. Brainwash, seems almost too good to be true. (Not helping matters: Guetta's self-promotionally vague answers when asked whether he might be Banksy in disguise.) But right before Exit Through the Gift Shop gets its biggest spotlight yet at Sunday's Oscars, the L.A. Times did a thorough investigation of Guetta's finances, travels, and records and yep, everything checks out. He isn't Banksy — though Guetta allows that "in the end, I became his biggest work of art" — and he really was able to afford all those trips and art shows thanks to a profitable clothes-selling operation. And, unlike Banksy, he's all set to attend the Oscars (not in a monkey mask, but in a Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo). [Envelope/LAT]