an exploration of fame and the modern obsession with celebrity
26 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Playing to packed houses and sold out sessions at MIFF is TEENAGE PAPARAZZO, a documentary that marks the debut feature from Adrian Grenier, better known for his role on HBO's popular series Entourage. The film looks at Austin Visschedyk, a 14-year-old boy who ekes out a living as a paparazzi in LA, spending his nights chasing down celebrities instead of doing his homework. Grenier first spotted the adorable, slightly built teenage photographer at a photo shoot, where he was caught up in the frenzied jockeying for position hoping for the "money shot" that could earn him up to $1000. Grenier became intrigued by his presence, and tracked him down to find out why he would spend his spare time engaged in this pursuit. Grenier also talks to a number of professional paparazzi about the job and its risks and rewards. He also interviews a number of stars and celebrities, like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Alec Baldwin, who have all had "issues" with the paparazzi in the past, to find out how they feel about this loss of privacy. But stars like Matt Damon offer a counterpoint, saying that he is "married and boring" and of little interest to photographers. Teenage Paparazzo also turns into an exploration of fame and the modern obsession with celebrity that enables the media feeding frenzy. But fame is also something of a double-edged sword, as Austin learns when he become something of a minor celebrity himself. Grenier has gained incredible personal access to Austin and his life, which allows him to give us an in depth and intimate insight into his personality. But the film also becomes a bit self-indulgent at times.
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