Bill Cunningham New York
2010 ‧ Biography/Documentary ‧ 1h 30m
I was finally able to watch this film the other day after my writing professor personally recommended it to me a year ago. How fitting to watch this as Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2015 wraps up this week.
At 85 years old, legendary street-fashion photographer Bill Cunningham has for decades chronicled society through candid snapshots, bicycling around New York City capturing the latest and boldest trends. After a few minutes into the documentary, as we see him weaving through traffic on his bike unfazed by the threat of death, I couldn't help but feel a genuine, almost universal affection for a man who dedicates his entire life to something he loves doing—photographing the energy and diversity of people walking the streets.
Bill Cunningham New York is a captivating, moving, and incredibly honest film about an individual seeking to highlight and preserve the culture and creativity of humanity. Living an incredibly simple life (think Thoreau's Walden) equipped with just his Nikon film camera, trusty bike, and signature blue smock, Bill depicts what it's like to be truly happy having invented an occupation in which the relentless pursuit to capture the beauty of self-expression is pleasure rather than work.
P.S. watching documentaries recently has settled my nervous qualms about studying abroad...eep just a few more days!