The Paparazzi Circus


There’s no shortage of actors, celebrities and socialites who love to bask in the flashing lights of the paparazzi camera. Many strategically turn up to events just so that their faces and designer dresses can make it to the pages of glossy celebrity magazines and entertainment gossip channels. Its all part and parcel of the fame game, and meeting the growing demands of the celebrity obsessed culture.

Yet, many artists hate it. There are filmmakers out there, who despite appreciating and embracing the selection and promotion of their film to a wider global audience, still despise the pretentious aspects of many film festivals and award ceremonies.

But, as producers and/or stakeholders in their projects, they are compelled to attend the red carpet and dance like grinning circus monkeys to the hoards of squealing paparazzi. I came across this clip of the great tragi-comedy filmmaker Todd Solondz at Venice for the premiere of his film ‘Life During Wartime’, and it deeply saddened me. His expression and body language (at being made to pose for a photo call, whilst being engulfed by masses of rude photographers) is one of child-like anxiety and discomfort.

After seeing this, I wish these ‘artistic’ events would show greater respect to the individual personalities and psyche of artists, who are there to promote their labour of love, without having to be subjected to obligatory exhibitionism. Watch out for cinematographer Edward Lachman mock the paparazzi with his own camera at the start of the clip.

But there is a rainbow after the storm. Watch the clip below. I love how the great humanistic filmmaker, Aki Kaurismaki screws with the expected demeanour of the red carpet and leaves the Cannes monarchy gobsmacked with his ‘unorthodox’ entrance. He is a true working class hero.