PetaPixel

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Turns the Lens on Paparazzi Photographers

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has become one of the hottest stars in Hollywood in recent years, appearing in a number of major blockbuster movies (e.g. Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Lincoln). Back in 2006, as he was still a smaller name in the industry, Gordon-Levitt had a run-in with a couple of paparazzi photographers.

Having a video camera with him, Gordon-Levitt decided to turn the camera lens on the two men to capture a glimpse into the world of celebrity photography. The encounter can be seen in the video above, titled “Pictures of A**holes,” which Gordon-Levitt uploaded to YouTube (Warning: there’s some strong language).

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 2010

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 2010

It may be more than half a decade old, but the video is now making the rounds on the Web again now that Gordon-Levitt is one of the most sought after names in the movie (and paparazzi) industry.

Here’s what Gordon-Levitt writes about the “short film”:

It doesn’t normally happen that paparazzi photographers pay me any attention when I’m not working. In fact, it only ever happened once (thank god) that I can think of. Luckily I had my video camera on me when it did.

A friend and I were just walking down the street in Manhattan when we passed these two photographers who were sitting outside the entrance of some hotel, presumably waiting to photograph somebody who was staying there. I didn’t think much of them until, a block or so later, they came running up and started to take my picture. I tried to be nice and politely ask them not to. They were neither nice nor polite. And that’s when I remembered I had my camera in my bag. So that’s where the movie starts.

The only other thing I’ll say is (and I had trouble deciding whether or not to be so blunt with my opinion, but here goes) I do believe that the myth of “Celebrity” is not just innocently shallow entertainment, but a powerful and fundamental part of a larger movement revolving around greed, apathy and hierarchy that is currently dragging us down, down, down, lower and scarier, and perhaps weaker than we’ve ever, ever been. Smile!

Last month, we shared a video showing how ordinary crowds of people suddenly turn into paparazzi photographers when they find themselves in the presence of the rich and famous.

After sharing that video, we were tipped off to a new film exploring the relationship between celebrity and paparazzi. It’s titled $ellebrity. Here’s the trailer:


Image credit: Joseph Gordon-Levitt by gdcgraphics