I grew up watching not sitcoms nor soaps nor telenovelas but documentaries, from usually National Geographic or BBC. God was I the geekiest kid ever. A documentary on my favourite subject ever is basically a foolproof combination for me. I have enjoyed past fashion documentaries such as Lagerfeld Confidential (2007), Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008), and The September Issue (2009) so I was really looking forward to Bill Cunningham New York (2011) which features BILL CUNNINGHAM,
Images via GoogleIt is obvious through the film, that the only reason Bill has the phenomenal success he has right now is due to his work ethic and incredible attitude and passion. This is clearly a man defined thoroughly by the work he does - his small studio of home is filled top to bottom with filing cabinets of negatives and his bed is a mattress lain atop of even more filing cabinets. He saves little time for relationships but instead spends an incredible amount going around New York on his bicycle with a camera in hand for the best street style in Manhattan. His millinery business failed when he was young, some reject his offer to let him take their photograph, and he has to fight to maintain the same integrity and quality of his photographs throughout the years, and in spite of all the hardships, his beatific smile and infectiously warm personality never falters. Of what I am most impressed by him is not his eye for fashion, but rather his unbeatable sunny outlook on life. It is rare to see someone so driven by passion where his work is no longer "work". To someone who feels overwhelmed with the amount of choices today, it's heartwarming and inspiring for me to see someone who could stay so narrowly focused in one field for such a very long time. The film is surely worth the watch (though it's sad that it's in limited release) not only because of the beautiful clothes and interesting life that Bill has led so far, yet also because he is a grounded, inspiring character in a field where so many focus only on the pretty. Now I just want to watch L'Amour Fou on YSL already!
"MONEY IS CHEAP BUT FREEDOM IS EXPENSIVE" – BILL CUNNINGHAM