Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bill Cunningham New York

After receiving rave reviews from my mom and sister, I rented Bill Cunningham New York on iTunes this past Friday night. Flyboy left Lil' Puna, and I was in desperate need of a pick-me-up. Hands down, it was the best decision I've made in awhile! I had no idea that I was about to spend an hour and a half in a state of absolute bliss.

Bill Cunningham is a veteran fashion photographer and a New York City icon. This superb film documents the cultural anthropologist who's devoted his life to chronicling fashion trends for generations. His fascination with "street style" photography is his passion, and he's selflessly poured himself into his work. Ironically, Bill could care less about celebrities, personal fame, or money. He lives in a cramped one-bedroom apartment and wears bland clothing, but that doesn't keep this bright-eyed and grinning journalist from his trendspotting obsession. Entering into his ninth decade, Cunningham can still be found wearing his functional street-sweeper jacket and riding his worn-out Schwinn bicycle around Manhattan -- enthusiastically snapping photos of people and fashion found in the Big Apple. This documentary is a poignant portrait of a dedicated artist who finds beauty in both simplicity and the outlandish. Despite his modest lifestyle and humble outlook, it's clear that Bill Cunningham is a pioneer. His visual essays teach us to celebrate individuality and personal style. The film humanizes a real genius and allows the viewer to dream a little bigger. It's simple and joyful, just like the artist! 
Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham: Street-Sweeper Jacket / Film / Camera / Bike / New York Times / Sandwich & Coffee

A few of my favorite quotes from the film...
"The wider world perceives fashion as frivolity that should be done away with. The point is that fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life. I don't think you can do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization."
"If you don't take money, they can't tell you what to do. That's the key to the whole thing." 
“It’s as true today as it ever was, he who seeks beauty will find it.” 
The best fashion show is definitely on the street. Always has been and always will be. 
“Damn you, New Yorkers, you’re all so extravagant and wasteful.” 
You must see the film and soon. He's the sweetest, most adorable man that's ever been caught on camera.
I hope you find a little beauty in your Wednesday!
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  1. I definitely am going to check this out! I love that he's a cultural anthropologist who studies fashion! Such a great reminder that anthropologists can focus in on their own culture!

  2. Excellent review! I think that this film just shot to the top of my must-see list. Thanks!

  3. I'm so glad you loved it...I knew you would! It's one of those movies that no matter if you like fashion/ photography or not you are going to fall in love with this film and Bill Cunningham. His lessons are universal:) And can I just give a BIG shout out to Editta Sherman...Bill's precious partner in crime at Carnegie Hall!!!! I would love to see a special on her as well:)

  4. You MUST see it. You'll love it:) Some time I'll have to do a post about his sidekick Eddita. I hope someone does a documentary about her as well. She's SO interesting. I couldn't stop looking at her apartment filled with paintings and fun artifacts. You know she's got some great stories!!!