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Teenage Paparazzo
dir. Adrian Grenier / USA 2010 / 94’
subtitles: Polish


Austin Visschedyk, Adrian Grenier, Paris Hilton, Rosie O'Donnell, Matt Damon, Eva Longoria Parker, Whoopie Goldberg, Perez Hilton, Alec Baldwin, Noam Chomsky

Film description

Shouldn’t you be getting ready for school? a group of actresses asks the kid photographing them. The boy is Austin Visschedyk, a 13-year-old paparazzo. He travels the streets of L.A. on his BMX chasing pop culture stars and starlets. There is only one goal: get the best shot and sell it to a gossip portal or magazine. Austen’s parents, wealthy Californians, wholeheartedly support their son’s passion. The paparazzo is very serious about his profession and quite aware his youth can only help to gain celebrities’ trust. Interviews with celebrities such as the less-than-clever Paris Hilton and the more together Whoopi Goldberg enrich this 90-minute documentary.

Adrian Grenier’s film deals with the issue of paparazzi from a different perspective than most films on the subject, offering several themes. The first is the classic conflict between the limits of privacy of celebrities who are only famous for being famous. Another narrative is the image of converging media, where information spreads like a wildfire through all channels, incinerating the line between reality and media fiction. Finally, Teenage Paparazzo is a tale of the end of childhood as a special stage in life. From this perspective, Austin’s story is a symptom of broader cultural shifts. Grenier’s film reminds us that the paparazzi phenomenon concerns not only celebrities, but all of us – residents of a global visual village.

Samuel Nowak

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