When Celebrities Snap
Paparazzo Ron Galella was the ultimate celebrity photographer—they couldn’t live with him, and they couldn’t live without him. Throughout his long career, Galella was sued by Jackie O. and had his jaw broken by Marlon Brando, got into near-fisticuffs with Steve McQueen, and shot countless other stars of Hollywood’s halcyon glamour era. He was a sniper, a con-artist, an intruder, a stalker, and a genius at getting the money shot, but he also was responsible for some of the most iconic and lasting images of celebrities. Documentarian Leon Gast ( When We Were Kings) explores the complicated subject of Galella and his celebrity adversaries in the new film Smash His Camera, which hits theaters this weekend. It is a must-see for lovers of fame, greed and money (and really, who isn’t?). Eric Hynes of the Village Voice writes that Gast’s documentary has “a freewheeling charm that perfectly matches its subject,” while Movieline’s Michelle Orange says, “There is casual genius in some of the captured moments, a combination of access, timing, and luck, with the subject almost always carrying most of the image’s weight.”
Young San Diego musician Nathan Williams has already been through his share of drama as frontman of the beachy pop band Wavves—in 2009 he had a public meltdown at a show in Barcelona as a result of a drug and alcohol binge, and he couldn’t perform for the crowds. Now, back and recovered, Williams and his band have created the perfect end-of-summer record, King of the Beach, out online this week and in jewel box form this coming Tuesday. The record lacks the grittiness of Wavves’ previous work, and that’s a good thing; the band finally sounds like it has come into its own, and the record may be their first big mainstream breakthrough. As the rock website Stereogum notes, “The textures offer more details and patterns. The songs feel fleshier, less solo: Wavves has become a real band, which serves Williams’ knack for sunny, catchy melody.”
Just Plain Guilty
We all have to have that mid-summer guilt trip of lounging lazily on the couch, blank stare focused at the TV. This week, your guilty pleasure comes in the form of The CW’s newest and irresistible reality show, Plain Jane. The show is the ultimate makeover hour; British fashion expert Louise Roe helps wallflowers bloom as she gives them fashion tips, beauty overhauls, and confidence-building activities to help shy, mousy-types finally confront their secret crushes. Sure, it’s excruciating to watch at times, and it’s picking on the low-hanging fruit of the reality world, but we told you it is very guilty. We recommend watching it alone, eating sorbet, in sweatpants. Let your inner plain Jane fly and you’ll fit right in.