Teenage Paparazzo (2010)
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Issues about the publics love of fame and gossip, of the media's role are all raised with both sides of the argument. Celebrities and paparazzi talk about their feelings and then we have Austin. He is a just 13, yet home schooled which means he can spend all the rest of his time taking photos. Because he is young he is accecpted by his peers and celebrates find him adorable, but as the film progresses, so does his own fame and suddenly he becomes the center of attention. The film offers many parallels: Grenier himself plays an actor who hits the bigtime, rather like in real life: He also becomes a paparzzi and at one point realises as he tries to get hold of Austin that he is like the paparazii stalking celebrates.
It makes for a enagaing film, often funny, often just plain shocking and because it presents every aspect of the story well, it provides the audience with a full insight into a fascinating world. Grenier is a charismatic host throughout the film and has made a excellent film.
Before getting into the film itself, I want to give the people reading this a little background on myself. I personally have always enjoy meeting and mingling with celebrities and people in showbiz. It's probably one of my most sought after and favorite activities. There is just something about meeting and talking to celebrities that makes me feel amazing inside. I can't really describe it but I have always been a huge movie geek ever since I was a little boy and always admired a lot of actors, actresses, and directors in the "biz." When I get a chance to meet someone famous or see them in person I get as excited as a kid in a candy store. Maybe part of it stems from wanting to be a celebrity of some sort myself or having a passion to work in the biz. But the another part is that I just truly admire what a lot of actors, actresses, and directors do for a living. What I don't like is the Paparazzi and all this celebrity gossip crap that goes on. I feel that this type of coverage destroys celebrities and really makes them look like really bad people. It also creates "celebrity obsession" which I feel is becoming a huge problem in the United States.
Adrian Grenier's documentary "Teenage Paparazzo" focuses on this issue and explores the lines that are being drawn between obsession whether its for fame, money or just a photograph of a celebrity. When you watch this documentary there is a lot of seriousness that gets brought up. I think we as people as well as the Paparazzi themselves tend to forget celebrities are people too. Some would argue that the paparazzi is the price you pay for fame but the question the film asks is does it go too far? I think most after seeing this film will say yes and I would love to hear how others feel about this.
The main focus of this film is on Austin Visschedyk who as the film's title suggests is a teenage paparazzo. Watching a teen enter this world is both fascinating and scary at the same time. It's like watching a train wreck unfold right in front of your eyes. You know seeing someone that young enter into a world that brutal is not going to end result. The surprise though is that Adrian found a way to make this not be totally negative but just spark intriguing and interesting conversations.
The Q&A session was a real treat because getting a chance to talk to Adrian about his film really made the experience so much better. It seems that Adrian feels very passionate about this subject and with very good reason, he is a celebrity. I think however that he makes an effort to reach out to fans while others don't. There is so much in this Q&A session that was interesting to talk about that I feel they could have let that run an hour or two by itself.
In my humble opinion, the main question this documentary leaves it's audience with is "how can we (meaning the non-famous and the famous) develop a relationship where we can just get along and at the same time allow each other to live own individual life?" While I think this is the question the film leaves us with, I pose another question "can that ever happen?" I guess if it was like a monumental movement it could but the likely hood is sadly slim to none. I really wish celebrities could always be like they are at film festivals...down to earth, open and honest, and very sociable with their fans. If they were more accessible, I don't think there would be as big of a market for the paparazzi as there is. Lets be honest here, the only reason the paparazzi exists is because of the all mighty dollar. Without the money aspect being involved this wouldn't be happening and we can definitely thank the media outlets for that. I guess what they say is true money truly is the root of all evil.
All in all, "Teenage Paparazzo" is a must see! If you are a fan of any celebrity, director, or anyone else in showbiz, this is a must see for you. If you are into the whole celebrity gossip thing, you should see it as well. I would say this should be a mandatory screening for the paparazzi because they should see what they do to celebrities. Their actions really go beyond any civil measure of trying to make money and how they are allowed to do what they do still amazes me. I applaud and admire Adrian Grenier for creating a documentary that brings up the topic but also taking the time to talk with me after the screening about this issue. I am in full support his effort to get it to happen. Please take the time to visit the movie's site at: http://www.teenagepaparazzo.com
MovieManMenzel's final rating for Teenage Paparazzo is a 9 out of 10. Quite frankly it was one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.
The documentary tries to make sense with the fascination with the people that are constantly in the public eye. The opening of the film shows some teen agers sunbathing while idly looking at the glossy magazines where the current stars are photographed. The group goes as far as discussing the possibility of sexual encounters among the people in the magazine.
This phenomenon about celebrity watching is not new. There has always been a market for people that cannot get enough of their favorite movie stars and other so-called celebrities that are the subject of tabloids and gossip columns. The explosion of this trend to the extent it dominates the popular culture has only been a recent fad. Before this explosion of information created by the arrival of publications like People and others that need the pictures to give to their readers.
Austin Visschedyk who was fourteen at the time the film was made, shows a mature nature that surprises. He is a gifted young man who wanted to make a name for himself. Going after stars in Los Angeles, he amazes in the way he was able to adapt the new picture technology and even make a name for himself. Celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Eva Longoria, and others show their amazement for this young man working among his older peers.
Austin's participation in the documentary gives the viewer a look of a unique teen ager acting as an older man. One cannot help but wonder about the roles of these parents who give Austin free reign for going after the people that will be on the next issue of the gossip magazines. It is a shallow life, at best. Austin is seen at all kinds of hours roaming around those areas of Los Angeles where the subjects are most likely to be as they try to conduct their lives, only to be followed by Austin and the pack of photographers that stalk them.
Celebrity watching has brought an invasion of people's lives. The people in the public eye have seen their privacy violated by these paparazzi whose work do not let them a free moment to be themselves, a high price to pay because of the fame and the allure they emit to the rest of us not privileged enough to inhabit the chic worlds where they inhabit. Of course, there are those celebrities that need that constant attention to have their faces all over the place and they need the obnoxious paparazzi that follow their every move.
Adrian Grenier, the director, shows a man that knows what he wants and he is not easily impressed with the life style of his fellow celebrities. The documentary is fast moving as it moves from one location as the pack of paparazzi go after the shots of people in the news and feed the public's insatiable curiosity for the fantasy lives they cannot even aspire to live.
Teenage Paparazzo takes you into the depths of not only what it is like to be a paparazzo, but what it is like to be a child paparazzo. The film captures such a unique story and left me thinking, questioning and wondering about our cultural values, our obsession with celebrity, and how it feels to have the lens turned in the other direction. The celebrity talent only adds and enhances the experience, heightening the viewer's experience and inquiry.
I cannot say enough good things about this film and I would absolutely watch it again and again.
I cannot say enough about how well done this film is - for me that is what really clinches the top stop. My eyes were glued to the screen for the full time and when it was over, I was left thinking, left wondering and left reflecting. Exactly what the best doc I've seen is meant to do. A+