Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Bill Cunningham New York
Although released much earlier, I only recently took the opportunity to watch this documentary on Bill Cunningham who is probably best known as a street fashion photographer for the New York Times. To be honest, I was not familiar with Bill Cunningham at all until he and the documentary on him were briefly mentioned on Fashion Television. Since then, I had it in the back of my mind that I would like to see the documentary as I was immediately struck by his humble nature and clear passion for what he does. As luck would have it, I dropped by one of the smaller theatres in the city and found the film was still playing there. It was an absolute pleasure to have this glimpse into the life of this man who many are acquainted with but no one really knows. The contrast between his own simple life and the extravagant fashions and people he photographs were fascinating. He, himself, was the real star of the film though. His humour, his enthusiasm, his modesty and his strong sense of morals and values captivated me. Like any good film, I found myself laughing and at other times, crying. There is something so deeply admirable about his dedication to his work yet so saddening at the same time because it comes at the expense of other aspects of life. However, he is clearly very happy with his life and is at ease with the choices he has made. In the end, I do recommend this film but it is probably best that one not be too familiar with Bill Cunningham prior to watching - a quick Internet search turns up a good deal of what is covered in this film. With that being said, this film is clearly not meant to be an exposé but it is a touching look into an extraordinary man's life.