Sunday, June 17, 2012

Smash His Camera

by Drew Martin
Smash His Camera is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in photography, celebrity, first amendment rights and another quirky character from New Jersey. (Click here to watch the trailer). Ron Galella is the despised and admired focus of this film. Robert Ebert says of him..."He is a viper, a parasite, a stalker, a vermin. He is also, I have decided, a national treasure."

The term paparazzi originated from Fellini's La Dolce Vita, with the news photographer character, Paparazzo, which means an annoying "mosquito." Galella is certainly annoying. He stalked Jackie Onassis. She sued him and won. He crept on Marlon Brando, who reacted by knocking out five of his teeth.

Galella lives in a Sapronos-like house in Montville, New Jersey. His basement is full, and very well organized, of thousands of pictures of celebrities, which he sells to newspapers and galleries. Despite a parade of negative testimonies in the film, it is hard not to like this dedicated, driven creature who spent his career showing people how they really are and not as they want to be seen.