Rhetorical Analysis of Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop Documentary

Date:  2021-06-24 13:20:12
3 pages  (597 words)
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Harvey Mudd College
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Banksy, one of the most prolific street artists of our time, produced this documentary that encountered criticism from right, left, and center (Jason N.p). Nonetheless, the documentary film has won several accolades, the most significant being the nomination for the 2011 Best Documentary. Some of the themes in the film include street artistry, fanaticism and obsession, mockery, and commitment. To bring out these themes, Bansky employs a combination of speech and action to persuade the audience that street artists have emotions to express, and that this genre of art is just as paying as photography or painting. A rhetorical analysis of this film would comprise of a clear analysis of ethos, pathos, and logos.

The films title, Exit through the Gift Shop, is somehow unrelated to the main themes of this documentary. First, being a documentary, the audience would expect the title to be direct and not insinuative as it is. After watching the documentary film, one is left wondering why the producer would select such a title for this documentary. However, the protagonist is a gift shop operator cum videographer, which means that the producer could have used this title to show that the idea of the film is centered on career change. Here, the audience observes that he producer is logical and that he understands that how to communicate with an intellectual audience who can make such a deduction. The audience is left wondering where the exit is in the film. Could it be Guetters exit from business to film-making, or Banksys exit from being a subject to a producer, or is it Invaders return to France? The question of exit is a pathos than the producer uses to provoke curiosity out of the prospective audience and make them feel like they need to watch the film.

Although a documentary, Exit through the Gift Shop can be considered a movie. While a pure documentary would document the progression of a story, this film captures the making of a story (filmsite.org). This arrangement achieves an important effect that contributes to the success of this film. The producer does not only express the challenges of street artists including unwarranted arrests, he also tells the audience that street artists are endowed with other talents like film-making that sells well in the market. The documentary is also a portrayal of one mans success in the entertainment industry. Although the film documents the works of other artists like Fairey and Poster Boy, much of the shots exhibit Banksy displaying his collection that is undoubtedly superior to other belonging to his contemporaries (Bankys and DCruz).

Commitment is perhaps the most important theme of this film. Whatever began as a hobby ends up as business thanks to Guettas resilience. Before meeting Fairey and Banksy, Guetta spends his life as a shop keeper and a photographer. He, however, learns that filming artists is more interesting and fulfilling than general photography. Bansky awards this commitment by converting his efforts to business, a move that portrays Bankys character as a credible movie producer.

The ethos, pathos, ad logos of Exit through the Gift Shop are portrayed by the producers mode of cinematography that combines speech and action. Banksy, the films producer, successfully convinces the audience that street art can be converted to business, and effectively employs the protagonist to prove this point.

 

Works Cited

DCruz, J. "& Banksy (Director).(2010) Exit through the gift shop [motion picture]." UK: Paranoid Pictures.

Felch, Jason. "Getting at the Truth of Exit Through the Gift Shop.." Los Angeles Times (2011).

Tim Durks. "Documentary Film." Filmsite. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 June 2017.

 

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