Art on the Streets

Bill Cunningham New York ★★★
(USA, 84 min.)
Dir. Richard Press
Like many of the outfits snapped by the legendary photog himself, Bill Cunningham New York is delightfully quirky and a truly unique gem. This documentary chronicles the life and passion of fashion photojournalist Bill Cunningham as he zips around NYC on his bicycle, getting snapshots of the latest fashion trends on the street. It’s a personable and insightful film: having only cursory knowledge of Cunningham’s work, the film allows one to appreciate the scope of the artist’s career, as well as his philosophy of the art, by providing ample background information and personal testimony from friends and colleagues, and from Cunningham himself. 

Cunningham’s own voice proves to be the film’s greatest asset. The octogenarian is a colourful character, so in addition to providing plenty of entertainment, Cunningham also delivers a touching and inspiring story of a person who consistently defied conventions and expectations in order to pursue his passion to the fullest. Bill Cunningham New York is a laudable snapshot not only of a prolific artist, but also of fashion, celebrity, and art itself. 

Bill Cunningham New York is currently playing at The Mayfair in Ottawa.
It also plays at The Bytowne Septermber 9th and 10th.