Bill Cunningham New York
He who seeks beauty, will find it.
Chronicles a man who is obsessively interested in only one thing,the pictures he takes that document the way people dress. The 80-year-old New York Times photographer has two columns in the paper's Style section, yet nobody knows who he is.
Bill Cunningham is a crazy bike riding camera pecking man child with joie de vivre all over his blue french workman's coat.
The bike riding. I can't believe he is still alive. He had 28 bikes stolen but seemingly no broken limbs? Check the label to see if this is still non fiction.
The camera pecking. Extraordinary. No one asked why he still uses a film camera because we know the answer. The camera is up and down before you can blink. Suddenly pecking at his subject and quickly nonchalant and beaming. Only one threat in 84 minutes; the beaming is working. You want to be shot by Bill Cunningham.
The man child is surprising and becomes a little creepy.…
This loving portrait of one of New York’s hardest-working sons doesn’t shy away from asking tough questions. Whether or not it answers them is immaterial — by the end, it’s impossible not to feel like you’ve spent a day or a year in Bill’s company, and his modesty, enthusiasm and good humour are bound to rub off.
This is a watchable documentary about an aging fashion photographer from New York. He's a likeable chap with unusual philosophy. He doesn't seem to care for the same things that regular folk care for (money, love, comfort and so on), but instead devotes his life to the worship of unusual clothes.
It's hard to believe that he's not lonely, but he seems to honestly not regret his single-track life. He sums up his attitude with a beautiful quip: He who seeks beauty will find it. That sentiment resonates with me.
Enjoyable, affable, watchable, but not very revealing. Something dark is bubbling below the surface, and we catch a glimpse from time to time, but the documentary team are either too timid or too respectful to scratch the surface.
Probably more interesting for fashionistas.
The extraordinary devotion Bill Cunningham has for his work means that any film about him is worth a look, but it’s a shame this one is not a more illuminating portrait. Amiable though he may be, Cunningham has made a career out of being an observer rather than a participant, and his years behind the lens have trained him well in the art of evasion. No one interviewed in this documentary seems to know anything about him beyond his boundless enthusiasm for his unique brand of fashion photography, and Cunningham himself doesn’t do much to fill in the gaps. We learn about the various career experiences in fashion and journalism that led him to the niche he now occupies, but…
How this didn't sweep all documentary awards last year is beyond me.
It has been said that it took Richard Press about 8 years to convince Bill Cunningham to grant him access to follow him around with a film crew to create a piece about his life and work. Two years later it would be finished and called "Bill Cunningham New York". It is one of the greatest documentaries I have ever seen.
You really don't have to possess an interest in fashion, trends, photography, New York City, or anything that is deemed important to the man himself to see and enjoy this film. It's all about the fascinating individual that is being documented here, and wow is this man one of the more intriguing, selfless, and pure people there is.
Review from my VOD column "This Week on Demand"
A documentary almost as joyous and inspiring as its subject, Bill Cunningham New York follows the fashion photographer as he combs the streets of the Big Apple in search of the latest clothing trends, bearing witness to the relentless zeal with which he goes about his work. Living in a tiny apartment crammed with filing cabinets, eating only inexpensive store-bought meals, Cunningham is a man who has identified what matters to him in life and focuses on it unyieldingly. Director Richard Press—commissioned by the NY Times, for which Cunningham works—spends the great majority of the film in consultation with Cunningham’s many friends and subject in search of some deeper understanding of…
A lovely documentary about a fascinating man.
"money is the cheapest thing, freedom is the most expensive thing."
the documentary did an great job showing the man with the camera and bicycle.
Like a warm hug in a colourful magenta coat, in which you cry once it is over.
What an inspiring man doing what he loves. Such an uplifting and fascinating story.
Watching him ride around on his bike looking for the next fashion trend and getting so excited when he finds a unique look is priceless. It's amazing all the trend that he's captured on negatives.
I can be so lucky to find something to be that passionate about!
I can't add tags if I don't specify the date I watched the movie or write a review. But I have nothing to write about this film and I don't remember when I saw it since it was a while back. I should be able to add tags to any movie I've watched. This is something that should be fixed on Letterboxd. But I'm not gonna bitch about it because it's not that big of a deal.
Bill Cunningham: my new hero. What a delight!
We all get dressed for Bill.
- Anna Wintour
Bill Cunningham New York is an absolutely fascinating documentary about a true fashion legend. The eccentric street photographer has photographed everyone from Hollywood stars to bag ladies, while living in the legendary Carnegie Hall studios and cycling around every corner of the city. Observational documentary making at its finest.
A perfect example of documentarians stumbling on a great subject and having the good sense to goad the subject on and then get out of the way. I couldn't care less about fashion or the fashion world, but this movie made me care about how Bill Cunningham cares about that world. It made me laugh a lot and shed a tear, too.
Full review here.