Sundance USA screened the new documentary film by Adrian Grenier, of HBO's Entourage, at Downtown Independent tonight. Found out about it through the theater's weekly emails and was intrigued by the subject of the film: a teenage paparazzo.
Having grown up in LA, I just don't care too much about celebrities to be honest - they're "just like us" right...according to Us Weekly or something? Sure, I admire their work and love seeing what they wear on the red carpet but photos of them grocery shopping or playing with their kids is something the world could do without.
Teenage Paparazzo was done from Grenier's desire to understand what makes a teenager, and paparazzi in general, turn to a career of capturing people's personal lives - including his - in the most public of ways.
The kid, Austin, to his credit is very smart. It was extremely enjoyable to see him evolve from an overly confident tween paparazzo to a more humble and respectful celebrity photographer, as I think he put it.
Through celebrity interviews and participatory research (Grenier at one point tries his hand at snapping the photos), the film took on a social anthropological angle by dissecting the why's and the how's of our society's current obsession and sense of personal connection with the people we see on our TV's and glossy magazines. It then ties it back into how it all relates to Austin and his obsession with his job. Just like any good documentary should.
I got some good laughs out of this one and was glad that it came from a celebrity's vantage point rather than an outsider's looking in. Highly recommend it.