Paparazzi (1964) Movie Script

You arrived in Capri at 5:00
in the evening on May 1 7, 1 963.
You were in Capri to film
the exteriors for Contempt,
Jean-Luc Godard's film adaption
of a novel by Alberto Moravia.
In Capri at the same time
and for the same reason were
Fritz Lang,
Jack Palance,
Michel Piccoli
and Giorgia Moll.
Each morning you'd go to an isolated spot
on the southeast tip of the island.
There stands a villa that once belonged
to the Italian author Curzio Malaparte,
where the last part of Contempt
was to be shot.
On the terrace...
or in the immediate surroundings.
Built on a rocky promontory,
the villa was an ideal work setting.
One path led
from the village of Capri,
but access by sea was easier.
It was practically impossible to approach
without permission from the production.
Soldiers under the direction
of Commander Ventrone
patrolled the surrounding area.
The only chance for the curious
was to approach by sea,
or to observe from a distance
with binoculars.
Brigitte Bardot is the most
photographed woman in the world.
Brigitte Bardot is the most
photographed woman in the world.
And if the most photographed woman
in the world comes to your neighborhood,
you and your family
simply must go and meet her.
Kindly keep your distance.
Please. We're working here.
There she is!
Bye, beautiful!
Once again from the top, please.
Naples, May 1 7.
Half an hour before sailing for Capri.
The ship's not yet at the dock.
Brigitte's in the car
and would like to get out.
Everyone takes pictures of the
Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe,
and everyone takes pictures
of Brigitte Bardot.
Why this camera mania?
It's notjust ''BB''the actress
that fascinates the crowds,
but ''BB''in real life.
''BB''works as well in a newspaper headline
as on a movie marquis,
and for some years now, Brigitte Bardot
has played nonstop the role of...
Because the public asks it ofher,
Brigitte kindly plays the part.
She opens her door
and invites you in.
Well-mannered people know to leave
when the moment has come.
There's a certain kind of press
that has no manners,
that will peek through the keyhole
of a locked door
and tell what they see,
even if they see nothing.
They'll print pictures that say
just what they want them to say.
The important thing is
to get the picture.
In Italy all this has given rise
to the strange characters called:
May 20, the Villa Malaparte.
Godard finishes setting up
the next shot.
You relax and lie in the sun.
The sound engineer horses around.
We'll rehearse in a moment.
Places, everyone.
Godard comes to get you.
In this shot, Michel Piccoli,
playing your husband-
Why do you despise me?
Tell me or I'll hurt you.
Why hurt me on top of it?
You decide to get revenge.
Jicky Dussart, the photographer
on the shoot, captures this moment...
as well as the next,
in which Michel Piccoli,
seeking forgiveness,
helps you up the steps.
But that May afternoon,Jicky's camera
was not the only one in action.
These hastily snapped photos
are of poor quality.
Nevertheless, certain newspapers
will find them precious documents,
or perhaps just profitable.
You'd like to have the right,
like everyone else,
to lower your head
when descending the stairs
so as to avoid missing a step.
But if a telephoto lens is hidden
behind rocks 1 00 feet away,
just the act oflowering your head
can take on weighty significance.
For in the language
of certain reporters,
lowering your head
takes on a different meaning.
The newspaper in question
considers it unimportant to mention
that the picture was taken
at the Villa Malaparte in Italy.
Yet that's where it was taken,
on May 29 at 4:00 in the afternoon,
by photographers
you felt no need to flee from
because you never even saw them,
and you never saw them
because they were hidden.
They'd been following Brigitte
since filming began in Rome.
She arrived in Capri on May 1 7.
They in turn arrived on the 1 8th.
Look at the beautiful girls in Capri!
They came here with a purpose-
these were no amateurs-
and answered to the names of-
Claudio Valente,
of Valente Photo Agency.
The paparazzi's tools of the trade:
a 300 mm telephoto lens,
with a 3.5 aperture,
which can get a full-body shot
from 1 50 feet away.
A Vespa.
Apair oflegs.
A flash.
Their secret weapons:
patience and stubbornness.
Tuesday, May 2 1, 1 0:00 a.m.
You board the boat
for the Villa Malaparte.
They are there.
At 1 0:30 the same day,
you arrive at the villa.
They are there.
Thursday, May 23, 5:00 p.m.
You set out to go water-skiing.
They are there.
Friday, May 2 4, 3:00 p.m.
You listen to Godard's instructions.
So do they.
You shout ''Camille'' here.
Once Brigitte has gone over there,
you count to five,
and then you go.
Saturday, May 25. The day began badly,
and everyone is tense.
Those paparazzi
have been there all day.
No one can stand
this constant surveillance.
Godard least of all,
and he'll tell them so himself.
Brigadier Ventrone
follows behind and translates.
Furious at being driven off, Claudio,
Lucciano and Paolo decide they'll get
the definitive picture of Bardot
that night, no matter what it takes.
The clash takes place outside
the restaurant where you've had dinner.
They insult people in the street,
me in particular.
The people with me
are forced to react.
That's when they file charges
saying we attacked and beat them.
The poor souls!
The next morning they report
they were beaten up
to the local correspondents
for Il Tempo, Il Matino,
and Il Messagiero di Roma.
The next day those papers run articles
unflattering to Brigitte.
''Bardot's Fianc Attacks Photographer.''
Why that article in the paper?
Because you're not kind to us.
We were very upset, Brigitte,
and we wanted to let
the public know what you are.
Why don't you ever let us take pictures?
What's the best shot of Bardot for you?
A bathing suit. A bikini. Those are
great pictures for the weeklies.
I'm sure if we could get
a picture ofher with the little dog,
Il Tempo, Il Settimo Giorno, Il Europeo
would print it right away.
But that's impossible.
She's always surrounded
by police and soldiers.
They stop us.
At the very moment
we're about to get a picture.
Of course,
all this in spite of our sincere efforts
to convince the soldiers
that we need to eat every day.!
We're not lucky enough
to haveJicky Dussart's job,
the photographer
on Bardot's production.
He can do anything he wants.
He can work completely at ease,
in a relaxed and casual way.
Artfully, simply
and elegantly.
And we get yelled at
by our press agency to boot.!
The only thing that bothers us
is having someone among us
who doesn't take it seriously.
First he cuts the name ''La Stampa''
out of the paper and puts it on his hat.
Then he draws everyone's attention
to his hand that's in a cast.
It makes a terrible impression.
It's very hard to believe,
but he broke his neck
in April on the Via Veneto.
He slipped on a banana peel.
We were hoping for a lot more.
At a certain point,
you can't work that way anymore.
Climbing up mountains to take pictures
with a telephoto lens from 600 feet away.
To think that to get a picture
with a telephoto lens,
we risk falling to our death
from a cliff.
We're not interested anymore.
Is this the last time
you'll ever take pictures of Bardot?
- You'd try again if she came back to Italy?
- Yes.
You see.