This article originally appeared in
October 12, 2007
Fest success good news for the last
paparazzo

By ERIC J. LYMAN

ROME -- Rino Barillari delights in being called a "paparazzo."

Roughly translated from the Italian word for "pest," and immortalized as the
name of the irritating gossip-rag photographer in Federico Fellini's 1960
classic "La Dolce Vita," the word has long held a negative connotation.

    But the 63-year-old Barillari scoffs at
    that notion. His business cards have
    the words "The King of Paparazzi"
    splashed across them in red ink, and
    as perhaps the last paparazzo working
    in Rome since before Fellini called
    attention to the profession, Barillari
    says that he is an unofficial elder
    statesman among celebrity
    photographers.

    "These days everyone thinks they're a
    photographer, but it takes more than a
    camera and some good luck to be a
    paparazzo," he says. "I'm one of the last
    ones left who remembers the old way
    of doing things."

                                                             He says the world has changed since the
"Dolce Vita" era of the late 1950s and 1960s. The proliferation of digital
cameras and photo-capable cellular phones means there are potential
rivals in every crowd, Barillari says, and the demands of stars today means
few have the time to relax in any one city, making it hard to capture their
images any place besides a press conference or on a movie set.

Then there's the age-old problem of
celebrities who don't want to have their
photo taken. Barillari says he's been
chased, insulted, punched, pelted, run
over and, all told, sent to the hospital an
astonishing 173 times from attacks by
unwilling subjects in a career that dates
to 1958, when he started snapping
photos as a young teenager.

But despite all the disadvantages,
Barillari says he is undeterred. "This is
what I do, and after so many years, I still
love it," he says. "What's not to love? I'm
in the middle of it all."

The launch of the RomaCinemaFest
last year has led some nostalgic
Romans to wonder if the "Dolce Vita"
years might rise again, and that the
city's best hotels, restaurants and
clubs might again host a slew of
camera-shy screen stars.
    To be sure, the festival's first two
    editions have attracted scores of
    established top-name stars,
    including many who are familiar
    subjects to Barillari's lens,
    including Robert DeNiro, Martin
    Scorsese, Sean Connery and
    Harrison Ford in 2006, and
    Sophia Loren, Robert Redford,
    Francis Ford Coppola, Tom
    Cruise, Bernardo Bertolucci and
    Gerard Depardieu this year.

    As to whether or not the Rome
    fest's star-studded invitee list
    will spark a return of the city's
    famous and infamous "Dolce
Vita" era, it is a question Barillari considers carefully -- but only for a moment.

"No," he decides. "Those days are gone. Things have moved on. But who's
to say that in some ways what we have now isn't even better than what there
was before? I'm just as busy and as happy as ever."
(c) 2007 The Hollywood Reporter
All rights reserved.
Volume 77; Number 9
Volume 77; Number 9
Rino Barillari
A Barillari shot: Sammy Davis Jr. and
Lola Falana circa 1970
Another Barillari:  Marcello Mastroianni and
Sofia Loren
October 28, 2007
RomaCinemaFest ends
strong; Popular 'Juno' wins
Best Film

October 27, 2007
'Juno' takes home top prize
at RomaCinemaFest

'Canvas,' 'Pride' earn Rome
fest's Alice nods

October 26, 2007
Top prize still up for grabs at
Rome fest

October 25, 2007
'Haifa' earns New Cinema's
Italian nod

October 24, 2007
'Lambs' stars in like lions at
Rome fest

FilmItalia, UniFrance team
for young talent

October 23, 2007
Veneto buyer buzz builds on
Biz Street

Star wattage waning at
Rome fest

October 22, 2007
Coppola lights up Rome fest

October 20, 2007
Depardieu imposter fools
hotel staff in Rome

'Elizabeth,' Loren big draws
at Rome festival

'Elijah' first production at
new I am Third

October 19, 2007
RomaCinemaFest gets
Second Wind

Fellini script 'Viaggio' on
new voyage

October 18, 2007
Rome Fest dressed up in
second outing

Rome Fest dressed up in
second outing

October 12, 2007
RomaCinemaFest sets
sophomore bar higher

Fest success good news for
the last paparazzo

Film spotlight: "Youth
Without Youth"

Italy offers versatile
location, strong incentives

'Business Street' initiative a
high-end venue

RomaCinemaFest owes debt
to Auditorium

September 28, 2007
Rome Fest's love affair with
Hollywood continues