Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
The co-founder of the Gamma press agency, Raymond Depardon, created this documentary of press photographers in Paris and their subjects by following the photographers around for one month, in October, 1980. In-between long hours waiting for a celebrity to emerge from a restaurant or a hotel, boredom immediately switches to fast action as the cameras click and roll when the person appears. The reaction to the gaggle of photographers is as varied as the people they often literally chase all around town. While some of the celebrities, such as Jacques Chirac who was mayor of Paris at the time, are perceived as comical caricatures, others are shown simply going about ordinary pursuits - including Catherine Deneuve, Gene Kelly, and Jean-Luc Godard. There is never any hint that the photographers might be overstepping their subjects' personal freedom, or that they could be themselves behaving in a rather uncivilized manner, harrassing people who would like to be left alone. While audiences laughed at the scenes caught by Depardon, the views on all these shenanigans might have been different after the 1997 death of Lady Diana in Paris when she was also chased by photographers.