Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Currently available on DVD: "Smash His Camera"

There's no denying that paparazzo Ron Galella is a New York character. What's at issue in Leon Gast's entertaining documentary Smash His Camera is whether he's an artist or a creep.

Gast suggests he may be both. Having popularized stalker-style photography, Galella is best known for staking out the upper East Side in search of Jackie Onassis and her children.

But then there was the time Marlon Brando broke his jaw, and it's best not to even mention Sean Penn. So what about the artist part? Well, his photos are considered classics today, and have been seen in every venue from Rolling Stone to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.

Gast wisely lets us draw our own conclusions, but in the end, it's hard to dislike the man, even if you despise his methods.

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