Paparazzi might be the norm in our celebrity-infested times, haphazardly snapping every movement of the rich and famous. Ron Galella, though, is the original paparazzo. He elevated the celebrity snapshot into art and, at 78, remains a stalwart in the business. Dogged in his quest to photograph celebrities in unguarded moments, he defines his passion for his work by the ups and downs of his career—documenting the parade of stars at a thriving Studio 54 and having the dubious honor of being sued by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (his favorite subject) and having his jaw broken by Marlon Brando.
Leon Gast (When We Were Kings) masterfully profiles Galella and places him at the center of the debate about the First Amendment right to privacy. Galella’s work and tactics have their critics, but his influence is undeniable. In a career defined by perseverance, he has created some of the most lasting, iconic photographs of our times. —Sundance Film Festival
Leon Gast is an American documentary film director, producer, cinematographer, and editor. His documentary When We Were Kings depicting the iconic heavyweight boxing match termed The Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman won the 1996 Academy Award for Documentary Feature and the Independent Spirit Award. Gast co-directed the 1977 documentary The Grateful Dead Movie with guitarist Jerry Garcia. The film captured the band’s October 1974 five-night performance at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Gast also co-directed the 1983 film Hell’s Angels Forever.
A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Gast studied dramatic arts at Columbia University, and in that same period worked the television series High Adventure with writer and broadcaster Lowell Thomas. Gast is also known for his still photography which has appeared in such magazines as Vogue, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar.
Gast’s most recently completed project is a documentary entitled Smash His… read more
I loved this movie's debate about Galella's body of work and methods. Though I enjoyed gawking at his pics, I sympathize with those at whom he points his camera. Constitutional law expert Floyd Abrams summed it up best, pegging Galella as "the price tag of the First Amendment." That woman in the museum who couldn't identify the pictures was pathetic though. I wanted to go Brando on her, like he got Galella.
Robert Duvall and Bill Murray, Kevin Kline and Paul Dano, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. None of them are in Brett Haley's The New Year, but they
"In two days, two documentaries about paparazzi have screened at Sundance," writes Karina Longworth in Voice Film. "One, Smash His Camera