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September 3, 2011 | 12:00 p.m. CST
If you see an elderly man near New York’s Fifth Avenue in khaki pants and blue jacket looking through a Nikon camera lens, chances are that man is Bill Cunningham.Related Movie
Directed by Richard Press, Bill Cunningham New York gives movie-goers an inside look at the iconic photojournalist’s life, passion and talent. Cunningham captures his subjects by taking quick shots from his bike.
Cunningham still lives in Carnegie Hall Studios. He’s one of the last remaining tenants undeterred by the Big Apple’s lack of funding for landmark apartment space. He doesn’t have a kitchen and still only eats his meals – usually a coffee and maybe a pastry – before and after an assignment.
The documentary evokes Cunningham’s sense of urgency for his work, and fortunately, his obsession translates into creativity that fashion insiders adore.
Vogue editor Anna Wintour, New York style maverick Iris Apful, and Paper Magazine’s co-founder Kim Hastrieter all make cameos in the movie. The historical significance of Cunningham’s photos and the contribution he’s made to the reputation of fashion are unprecedented.
The director illustrates Cunningham’s eclectic personality, but loses focus when trying to find out more on his background and upbringing. It seems as if the director was ensuring that no matter how curious a person is on Cunningham’s personal life, his work will always speak for itself.