Top positive review
33 people found this helpful
An insightful look into paparazzi culture
on January 20, 2013
I didn't particularly have much sympathy for celebrities chased by photographers before watching this - after all, they chase fame, get paid millions and then whine about being recognized in public. But the documentary clearly shows the much darker side of celebrity worship, and how they are literally hounded every hour of the day in a way that simply breaks any measure of privacy, civility or reasonableness.
Thousands of photographers are simply feeding an online library of celebrities looking happy, sad, drunk, angry and crazy, and these images are then resorted by media outlets to tell a soap opera version of their lives. Between the editing and Photoshop work, it's pretty clear that what is being sold as reality is just simply another fictional story running rampantly out of control.
There are some excellent interviews with high profile figures and an interesting backstory into the original paparazzi. There's also some viewpoints from PR and media analysts and various media professors that ultimately leave you with an odd, sick sense that this is really the bottom of so-called journalism and surely it just can't get any worse. But when CNN is racing to quote TMZ, can it really recover?
The documentary doesn't try to sympathize with celebrities or blame anyone in particular but rather explain the strange cycle that has developed between producers and consumers where they have to eat each other's tails to survive. It's very revealing and certainly makes you want to never even glance at a tabloid the next time you're waiting at the supermarket.