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The Fabulous Picture Show
Exit through the Gift Shop
A unique look at some of the world's most infamous graffiti artists at work.
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2010 11:01 GMT

On one level, Exit through the Gift Shop is the story of how a French vintage-clothing merchant cum obsessive amateur filmmaker attempted to locate and befriend the elusive street artist Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. 

Jaimie D'Cruz and Roger Gastman join Amanda Palmer for a Q&A on Exit through the Gift Shop

The film, which has been met with almost universal praise, contains rare and exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Space Invader and many more of the world's most infamous graffiti artists at work.

On another level, Exit through the Gift Shop is a hilarious satirical commentary on the nature of modern art itself, and those who profess to love it.

At a certain point in the film, it becomes impossible to tell what is "real reality" and what is "manufactured reality." The fiendishly brilliant Banksy, one senses, is capable of deceit of the most seamless nature.

Jaimie D'Cruz, the producer of the film, along with Roger Gastman, a graffiti historian and Banksy collaborator, join Amanda Palmer, Al Jazeera's head of entertainment, and the FPS audience for a hugely informative and amusing Q&A session that attempts to unravel the ultimate, ineffable truth of the film.

Ali F Mostafa

Emerging UAE filmmaker Ali F Mostafa

Still in his twenties, Ali F Mostafa already had an award-winning short and a firmly-established career as a commercials director under his belt. But he had even greater ambitions.

For the past four years or so, Mostafa has been creating a buzz in his native Dubai, having ambitiously tagged his name to what would become the most expensive, most international film ever to come out of the Emirates. 

And City of Life, his first feature, does not disappoint: it proves him to be one of the most promising talents in the region.

City of Life opened the Arabian Nights section of last year's Dubai International Film Festival before an audience as diverse as the city itself – bringing the festival's investment in young filmmaking talents in the region full circle. 

If you have ever wondered what it must be like for a young filmmaker to be walking the red carpet at his first festival, well, wonder no more, because Mostafa takes FPS along for his exciting journey.

Apart Together

Apart Together - an intensely emotional family drama in China's boom town Shanghai

In 2007, Wang Quan'an, a little-known Chinese director, won the top prize, the Golden Bear, at the Berlin Film Festival with a beautifully observed film set in the Inner Mongolian desert. 

Tuya's Marriage was about a young mother who has to decide between a life of certain poverty with her disabled husband or remarrying a wealthy man who can provide for her family, including her first husband. Tuya's dilemma plays out against the harsh and desolate landscape.

This year, Wang's latest film Apart Together was given the prestigious opening-night slot in Berlin. 

Not only is this intensely emotional family drama without any major international stars the complete opposite of the usually glitzy opening night fare at a major film festival, its setting is also the complete opposite of the Inner Mongolian hinterlands of Tuya's Marriage.

Apart Together, set in China's bustling boom town Shanghai is also about a married woman's dilemma.

Many decades after fleeing the Chinese mainland in 1949 for a life of exile in Taiwan, a former nationalist soldier returns to Shanghai, to woo the lover, now an elderly woman, he was forced to leave behind, and bring her back to Taiwan.

But the woman has a loving, long-term common-law husband and children: will she leave it all – at her age – for a man she loved so many years ago?

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show can be seen from Thursday, April 15, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 0600; Friday: 0030 and 0830; Saturday: 2330; Sunday: 0630 and 2130; Monday: 1430; Tuesday: 0530 and 1230; Wednesday: 0300; Thursday: 0030.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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