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FilmCritic Review: Smash His Camera


Almost everything that needs to be said about the career trajectory of celebrity photographer Ron Galella is contained is the shots of his sprawling basement archive in Leon Gast's Smash His Camera. There, old cardboard boxes are packed to the ceiling, marked with dispiritingly D-grade subject labels like "MC Hammer" and "Tim Conway" (one box each) and "Tony Danza" (at least three). Galella doesn't necessarily want to talk about those assignments, of course; he'd much rather talk about that time in Central Park in 1969 when Jackie Onassis told the head of her security detail to "smash his camera." It's Galella's obsession with following and photographing Jackie that provides much of the spine for Gast's sometimes amusing film -- but when it strays from that central story, the thinness of the whole conceit is laid bare.

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