Marcello Geppetti

13.10.2011 in15:33 in Miscellaneous -->


This photo, by the most infamous early paparazzi photographer, Marcello Geppetti, was shot in Italy in 1963 where Bardot was starring in Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Mepris. His celebrity subjects were wide-ranging and included celebrated photographs of the Beatles visit to Rome in 1965. Willi Frischauer in his biography of Bardot writes of Bardot’s time in Italy for the filming of Godard’s Le Mepris:

‘During her stay in Italy, Jicky Dussart (a friend of Bardot’s) and the paparazzi commandos were not the only ones who trained their cameras on her. While Godard was making his film about a film in the making, another crew was filiming the paparazzi who were laying siege to Brigitte. The guiding spirit and director of this parallel film – Paparazzi – was Jacques Rozier who owed the success of his minor opus to Brigitte who gave him carte blanche to depict her and her tormentors, the free-booting Italian gigolos of the camera.’ (p.117) Marcello Geppetti started out as a news photographer with the Giuliani & Rocca agency, before joining the Meldoni-Canestrelli- Bozer photojournalism agency in 1959. It was here that he first captured startling moments in the private lives of celebrities. Geppetti became known for his signature stolen aesthetic. His photographs are known to have a brilliant, raw quality as though struck by a sudden revelation. Geppetti’s work is also of momentous documentary value and his photographs have been published in Time, Life, and Vogue. Geppetti photographed the “kiss” that blew the whistle on Liz Taylor’s and Richard Burton’s affair; Anita Ekberg’s famous assault of the paparazzi with bow and arrow; and the first “stolen” shot of a naked Brigitte Bardot. He took his last photo on 27 February, 1998 leaving a legacy of photographs, many unpublished.