Bill Cunningham New York

"Excellent"

Bill Cunningham New York Review


This lively documentary tells the story of the fashion world's most influential photographers. Most people have never heard of him, and he doesn't mind at all.

And as it digs deeper, the film becomes a remarkable exploration of the true meaning of success.

Bill Cunningham is a pure photojournalist with a passion for fashion. At 80, he's been riding his bicycle around Manhattan for 50 years snapping photos of street fashion: where catwalk meets consumer. His iconic pages in The New York Times are watched by the fashion industry for trends that no one else has noticed. But Cunningham lives in an overcrowded one-room studio in Carnegie Hall. He has no appetite for celebrity, fine food or clothes, romance or money, and is happiest when he spots a particularly colourful person on the street.

The film explores Cunningham's work through the people who know him best. But they don't know much about his private life, so director Press gets increasingly close to Cunningham himself as he interacts with old pals like his neighbour Sherman, his patient editor Kurdewan and his Parisian mentor Piaggi.

Finally, Press asks questions point-blank to fill in the gaps, revealing a wildly successful man who's neither rich nor famous. And he prefers it that way.

Cunningham is a terrific on-screen presence, endlessly optimistic about everything he encounters, unable to make a distinction between the very wealthy and the poorest people on the street. Wintour comments that everyone watches who he photographs, as he has no interest in the stars: he's looking at the clothes. So when he snaps a picture of a catwalk model, everyone knows that he's seen something special. Or maybe he's just noticing that a designer has stolen someone else's idea.

The film is edited together in a fast-paced way that allows the filmmakers to include all kinds of material. This makes the doc feel rather a lot longer than it actually is, but the cheerful tone and warm, thorough approach hold our interest. As does the way the filmmaker slices through the eccentric, artistic personalities to make some pointed comments about politics, commercialism and society. But best of all are Cunningham's own frank observations: "Fashion is the armour we need to survive everyday life."



Bill Cunningham New York

Facts and Figures

Run time: 84 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 16th March 2011

Box Office USA: $1.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $1.3M

Distributed by: Zeitgeist Films

Production compaines: First Thought Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Fresh: 66 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Richard Press

Producer: Philip Gefter

Starring: Bill Cunningham as Himself, as Himself, as Herself, as Herself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.