Tuesday, September 28, 2010

film school

Last night the husband and I watched a documentary called Teenage Paparazzo

The movie is inspired by the real life relationship between young paparazzo Austin Visschedyk and Adrian Grenier from Entourage
Adrian met Austin by chance while out one evening and Grenier , intrigued by the young teens career choice, decided to flip the script on the paparazzi for once and follow them, find out what they were all about while documenting this peculiar teens lifestyle.
In the process of doing so, the glare of celebrity becomes reflected on this young boy and he is now 'famous' garnering attention for being such a young paparazzo and he begins to get a taste of fame.
And he likes it.
Seeing this, Grenier has to now find a way turn this little 'project' around and reign in the monster that Austin is beginning to become. 
I found the movie to be pretty poignant.
It's not life altering but I think in this day and age and in the type of culture we live in - it was pretty on target.
The topic of paparazzi and celebrity culture has pretty much permeated most avenues of American culture in some way and this film offers an intimate look at both the perks and consequences of this culture.

There were so many things going on this film that blew me away.
First - this kid is 13/14 yrs. old and out until the wee morning hours chasing celebrities.and his mom is okay with this.
seriously.
he takes cabs to where he needs to go and is home schooled so no need to worry about being late to class the next morning.
His obsession with celebrity was a little scary to watch so up close & they showed clips of him staring at his computer and clicking through 500 meelion different celebrity websites looking at photos for HOURS. literally.
But the fact that he was a KID was the real rub.
Here was this adorable 14yr. old that is completely disarming and then BAM!! he's snapping your picture @ 100 shots per minute. Celeb women are total suckers and even some of the men were intrigued and beguiled by his innocent looks.

I did really enjoy the way the film examined America's need for celebrity , its obsession with it and how those needs have affected not only main stream media, but people everywhere. 
In the documentary, they showed Austin the famous photograph from the Kent State Massacre to give him a glimpse of REAL photo journalism


 He wasn't even phased.
Adrian had a good point when he stated that our society is so saturated by these ridiculous "everyday" lifestyle images that real life no longer seems to have an affect.
That saddens me.
Are we so jaded that the images that should be rocking our core (bodies floating in the water post Hurricane Katrina)  don't and the ones that shouldn't ( Britney upskirt) DO?????
You might be wondering what the point of all this rant is right?
Well I pretty much wrote my thesis on this topic a few years ago.
See......I am a recovering celebrity addict. 
I had a very serious US Weekly habit about 3 years ago
Very.Serious.
As in, I knew the magazine hit newsstands every Wednesday and I would make it a point to go to particular stores on those days in hopes they would have the new issue.
If they did not, I was upset about it and spend the rest of my week sulking until I found it.
I used to be glued to both Popsugar and Perez and counted on them for my daily dose of celebrity.
I needed them. Had to know to know what was going in their soap operatic lives.
I had no life without these people in it.
They filled the void on Friday evenings as my Sweet Pea drifted off to her My Little Pony dvd's. 
That was.my.life. 
And it was sad because clearly I was lacking something that made me seek out the magazines and websites and soak up the little bits of information like a sponge.
Somewhere along the way, I began to get sick of all the nonsense that was being spewed at me.
The dramas that were playing out in the weekly tabloids was but a small blip on the radar in the grand scheme of what was happening in the world. 
and most of it was FAKE!
(gasp! shocker!)
I say all this to say - while I understand society's interest in celebrity pop culture and the place it has in society I think that it's gotten a little out of hand since the advent of the new social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs. 
There is a fine line between being current and letting this 'obsession' take over.
And while I would NEVER let Sweet Pea out to be a paparazzo at such a young age - I kinda think the mom might have been on to something.
He was obsessed for a few years/months and as he got older........he seemed to be getting a handle on it later on in the film...........ultimately HE had to be the one to figure out how toxic it really is/was.

Where do you stand on that line?


1 comment:

  1. the idea that we actually "let our children" anything is an illusion... when a child has a passion they always find a way, as a mom I am a fervent supporter of passion!

    ReplyDelete

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