Bill Cunningham New York | Film Review
New York Times’ legendary style photographer Bill Cunningham loves his job more than anything else.
Legendary New York Times street-style photographer Bill Cunningham is known for his keen eye and ability to spot trends. If you know the 80-year-old shutterbug only from his byline, you’d assume he’s some sort of dapper gentleman, constantly dressed to the nines. Instead, this charming doc shows us that the photographer is always seen in a worn-out royal blue workman’s jacket and gets around town via bicycle (without a helmet!). Yes, fashion is his passion, and Cunningham rubs shoulders with New York’s elite crowd, but the subject of the film is a very simple and modest man. While it’s fun to see Cunningham’s back catalog on display throughout the doc and hear adoring comments from colleagues (“We all get dressed for Bill,” Anna Wintour says), the real treat here is witnessing someone who absolutely enjoys his job. Cunningham gets sheer pleasure out of finding everyday people (from mothers to club kids) wearing interesting clothes.
His enthusiasm is contagious, and you want to learn more about the photographer. Unfortunately, Press can’t get too much information from Cunningham about his private and romantic life. We see his tiny studio apartment (with a shared bathroom) in Carnegie Hall, but it’s mostly filled with filing cabinets containing all of his photographs. His life is his work, and it’s touching to see someone so in love with his job after so many years.