Jan 17, 2011

Faux Times Two

The other night, Gia and I watched two films that were incredibly alike yet totally, um, not so.  Wait...lemme explain that a little bit.  They were both "documentary-style" films, with one of them being obviously a mock-umentary, while the other one required a bit more thought on the subject.  Yes or no?

The first film, the one that required a bit more thought on the subject, was Exit Through the Gift Shop.  This was an absolutely brilliant film.  Directed by famed British street artist Banksy, it started out as a "documentary" about an amateur filmmaker named Thierry Guetta who became obsessed with street art and artists.  But it turned into something entirely different, as Guetta was encouraged by Banksy to create his own art.  The intriguing and often unbelievable story that follows makes for an incredible film.

I'm not going to spoil anything, and there has been no consensus from either the critical world or from the participants itself, but...well, the whole thing is quite possibly a hoax.  I'm leaning toward 100%, but hey...ya never now.  Wait, did I say I wasn't going to spoil anything?  Shit.  Did I just spoil that?  Crap.  But believe me, the journey is well worth it.  I give this one the highest of recommendations.

The other film was an obvious faux documentary called The Last Exorcism.  It's filled with familiar looking actors and unbelievable scenarios, but it's a lot of fun anyway.  It tells the tale of a lapsed Christian preacher who has convinced himself that he was still doing important work, because if the people he was "helping" felt like he was genuine then he was actually helping them.  One of his duties was to perform exorcisms, and it was all a smoke and mirrors game for him.

For one last time, he hired a film crew to follow him so that he could prove that exorcisms were all a bunch of crap.  But, of course, some spooky shit goes down.  Interesting, but not really that scary.  I was expecting a whole lot more from this film than what I got, but besides from a few small chills the film was pretty ordinary.

So I would highly recommend Exit Through the Gift Shop, and meekly recommend The Last Exorcism.  One was brilliant, the other was just meh.


Avitable said...

I haven't seen the former, but it was my understanding that it was completely a documentary. I did see The Last Exorcism, though, and I thought it was pretty interesting, especially the way the ending ramped up.

Have you seen Catfish?

Verdant Earl said...

Avitable - That's the interesting thing about Exit Through the Gift Shop. It could be just a documentary. But I don't believe it is. No, I haven's seen Catfish, but I'll look into it.

sybil law said...

Exit Through the Gift Shop sounds pretty cool - I'll look into it (but odds are, I won't watch it). I suck about watching movies, period. But since the olden Globes were on, I was thinking you should live blog another Oscars thing. Or am I stupid? I can never remember when any of those things air or whatever, but I do know I laughed hysterically when you live blogged that shit. :) Fun times in the chat room!

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil - I will probably live-blog the Oscars once again. It was fun last year.

Poppy said...

Wow, I got PISSED OFF and turned off the documentary when Guetta took over the story and started making his own art. Maybe I need to finish it out (I keep thinking yes) so even if I still am pissed at least I gave it a fair shake.

As for The Last Exorcism, not even worth going onto my maybe list. :)

Verdant Earl said...

Poppy - It's worth it especially if it all is a great big Banksy hoax.