Thursday, November 4, 2010

Leon Gast

Leon Gast's Smash His Camera (2010) showcases the allure and quantity of Ron Galella's celebrity photography while also offering a payback on behalf of the famous people he chased, among them Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Marlon Brando. The documentary questions Galella's motives, laughs at his singular lack of self-insight, and gives airtime to critics who malign his reputation (Thomas Hoving is particularly biting in his assessment of Galella as trivial sideshow). Galella is proudly game throughout, oblivious to his own exploitation-by-documentary. Editing by Doug Abel brings out Galella's future irrelevance. One sequence, for example, juxtaposes a celebrity event (middle still: Galella and Taylor Swift) with a hyper-clueless woman at a gallery. This young woman stands in for everyone under the age of 35 who would be equally unable to recognize John Belushi, Brigitte Bardot, Henry Kissinger, or Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (bottom still).
Creative Commons License
Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.