Bill Cunningham New York
USA, 2010, 84 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biopic, Documentary
Bill Cunningham is obsessively interested in only one thing—the pictures he takes that document the way people dress. “We all get dressed for Bill,” says Vogue editrix Anna Wintour. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the New York Times Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” Bill has lived in the same small studio above Carnegie Hall for fifty years, never eats in restaurants and gets around on a worn-out bicycle—his sole means of transportation. The contradiction of his monk-like existence and the extravagance of his photographic subject matter is one aspect of his private life revealed in the movie. Documenting uptown fixtures (Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller—who all appear in the film out of their love for Bill), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. In turn, Bill Cunningham New York is a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace.
DIRECTOR: Richard Press
US Distributor: Zeitgeist Films
Official Film Website