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Filmmaker Wants Credit For “Exit Through the Gift Shop”

Filmmaker Wants Credit For “Exit Through the Gift Shop” (photo)

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We know you have questions about Banksy’s amazing street art documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” We still have them too. Foremost among them: just what is the reality of Thierry Guetta, a.k.a. the street artist known as Mr. Brainwash. As “Gift Shop” tells it, Guetta was an obsessive videographer who stumbled into the unofficial role of cameraman to the street art stars. After documenting graffiti artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey for years, he had hundreds of hours of footage lying around his house and absolutely no plans to use them. Banksy convinced Guetta to get off his ass and make a film; the result was a disastrous mind-numbing collage called “Life Remote Control.” So Banksy, determined to put Guetta’s footage to good use, convinced the documentarian to give him the footage to do with as he pleased. And to keep Guetta off his back, Banksy encouraged him to become a street artist himself. And thus Mr. Brainwash was born.

But are those events true or just the version of things Banksy wants us to believe? Maybe Mr. Brainwash is an idiot savant who’s won over an unsuspecting art world; maybe he’s a Banksy creation specifically designed to expose the art world for the dumb, shallow thing that it is. With a prankster like Banksy it’s tough to tell, though the artist and filmmaker recently insisted that the whole film is “100% true” in an interview with AJ Schnack.

I guess this latest “Gift Shop” controversy, first reported last night by the New York Times, lends some credence to his claims. Filmmaker Joachim Levy says that he worked with Guetta as a producer and editor on “Life Remote Control,” but was unfairly left out of the credits of “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

“‘I feel it was — how do you say? — if you write a 200-page book, and someone takes 50 pages of your book and just puts it somewhere else, and they don’t even credit you, they don’t even ask your permission,’ he said. Not only did Banksy ignore his existence, he said, he took his footage out of context.”

Banksy’s camp issued a statement claiming it’s the first they’ve heard of Levy and they’re looking into it. But what may ultimately be more interesting than this tiff over credit is the concrete information about the film’s production which could come to light as a result. For instance, the Times piece reveals one heretofore undiscovered nugget: that Banksy “licensed” the “Life Remote Control” footage from Guetta, which certainly suggest some sort of business relationship between the two men.

It’s also interesting to hear Levy’s take on whether or not Mr. Brainwash is legit and independent artist or a living prank by Banksy. He told the Times, “I know what he did with Thierry. He turned him into a living art piece. It’s not a hoax, definitely not.” Unless of course Levy himself has been hired by Bansky to prop up “Gift Shop”‘s image as a real documentary. Which just raises more questions…

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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