“I’m a licensed professional!” – Les Galantine
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So declares Steve Buscemi’s character every time someone calls him a paparazzi. As if they called him a serial killer. And even in his own perception, he feels the near shame in the truth. Cup of self loathing anyone? With extra foam?
What?, like the profession leaves bit to be desired? You may not want to fully admit the fact of BEING a paparazzi?
Once again an amazing performance by Mr. Buscemi, as Les Galatine ,who can illustrate a struggling, skeevy, bottom rung player in the entertainment food chain, with the depth that slowly gives you the peek inside.
What made this guy who he is.
As we first meet him, he is part of a small group of paps, waiting for the shot. All tough, all staking their turf on the sidewalk.The tough guy then does some incredibly nice things.
It’s here that you must begin to suspend some belief.Not that there is a humanity in Les, but the lengths in which it goes.
Bringing a homeless kid into your home to live in your closet?
But you lose yourself in the story. And the peek into the photographers who are struggling for a scrap to sell to the rags. Glory days embedded in the odd image of a celebrity NOT wearing a hat, when they usually did. And the papers and websites that need to be fed with the latest shot.
Oh yeah, you’ve read them or seen them or clicked on them. And in Los Angeles, I’ve watched it go down.
I was so naive that one day I saw Young dude with a camera and long lens, then 2. Cool, maybe these guys were just out shooting “street ” stuff. Well then a black jag shows up with a leather clad celebrity and there was a mob of shooters. I thought a nice cuppa joe was a good way to watch the action , but the celeb decided that was for her also.
It was a wall of shooters outside the glass with flashes screaming.
The funny part of all of it? the celeb had to tip them off to be ready for her arrival.
One hand washing the other.
So the depiction in the movie may be right on for a certain segment of paparazzi. There are plenty that have the SUV’s and very sophisticated communications. And use all of the latest technology to upload and sell the images.
There is an inner drive that makes Les Galatine who he is. Dreams of working in advertising for the big buck, is a dream left on the shelf but taken down and dusted now and again. The angst of possible rejection is really too much to bear, so actually pursuing that path can be dangerous. By concentrating on the immediate and low hanging fruit, there is a greater possibility of grabbing that fruit.
Yes, his character is dedicated, has a past, a foggy future, and singular purpose. To survive.The paparazzi mentality is part of his DNA. Get the shot at ALL costs.
The main story line does ask you to, as I mentioned, suspend your belief a bit. The range of events is almost surreal, however in Tom DiCillo hands, you are hooked. Didn’t you love Living in Oblivion?
Mr. DiCillo weaves a character driven tale with a strangle affectionate look at this person. Thanks for the beautiful look, (DP Frank G. DeMarco) and Paul Zucker should be recognized for his sweet edit here.
Thanks for bringing this out in the summer. Saw my fill of the effects extravaganzas,
And every time you think you know the Les, Buscemi adds another layer, and you are no longer on sure footing.
Now I didn’t mention The Toby character, but the laid back subtle performance of Michael Pitt, as the homeless wannabe actor (no jokes here please) is that strangely warm thread that pulls you through the film.
So we had Paparazzi with Tom Sizemore paying tribute to the profession, and this. Wow.
But you support them. We all do. Because we like to watch.Just like Chauncy Gardener. (Anyone? …Buelller?…Bueller?)
Delirious opened Aug. 17 in selected theaters. we’ll be posting a high quality trailer shortly on the VIDEO page. Thanks to PeaceArch Entertainment for supplying the trailer.