Ron Galella's storied past and still-active present are chronicled in docu.
The first notorious and still most famous paparazzo (a term he embraces), Ron Galella has a storied past and still-active present that are chronicled in “Smash His Camera.” This entertaining docu by “When We Were Kings’?” Leon Gast is more eccentric personality portrait than the in-depth scrutiny of celebrity-culture madness afforded by fellow Sundance preem “Teenage Paparazzo.” Amusing, lightweight feature’s mix of colorful human interest and a bazillion star images make it natural for cable.
At 78, Bronx native Galella is as driven as ever, screeching across Manhattan to chase a celebrity tip, sneaking into invite-only events, etc. Such tactics are widespread now, but for years his shameless ingenuity was considered unique, appalling — and unbeatable. His admitted obsession with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis grew so invasive she took him to court twice, at one point getting a 50-yard restraining order. But Galella, a cheerful vulgarian whose “Sopranos”-like Jersey manse features a garden of plastic flora, sees no moral quandary in his work. He’s at once conscienceless and innocent, a “parasite” who believes deep down that celebrities really want all the attention, all the time. Assembly is bright and brisk.
— Dennis Harvey