On the opening day of the Sundance Film Festival, January 21, organizers announced the surprise world premiere of Exit Through the Gift Shop, the first feature film by the infamous British graffiti artist known as Banksy, to take place on January 24.
In the last few days, mysterious street art has surfaced on buildings in Park City, Utah, where 17 inches (43 cm) of snow has fallen in the ski town.
Exit Through the Gift Shop follows a Los Angeles-based French filmmaker who documents the secretive world of street art throughout Europe and the US as the creative vandals stencil and graffiti public spaces - until the anonymous Banksy turns the camera on him. The festival quotes Banksy saying, "It's the story of how one man set out to film the unfilmable. And failed."
Described as part personal journey and part an exposé of the art world, the film is an entertaining hybrid of reality and self-reflective fiction. "The world's first street art disaster movie" includes footage of underground artists such as Shepard Fairey (known for the 2008 Obama candidacy poster) as well as Banksy. Actor Rhys Ifans, of the Harry Potter films, is the narrator.
Never officially photographed, the notoriously elusive artist's identity remains unknown, apparently even to the agent shopping the film at the event.
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