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.