‘Bill Cunningham New York’, One of the Finest Documentaries I’ve Ever Seen

Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham New York

I’ve just finished watching Bill Cunningham New York not but 20 minutes ago and I can’t stop thinking about it. There’s so many feelings in my head right now that it’s hard to make an orderly thought, let alone turn those feelings and thoughts into an orderly sentence. To sum it up nicely, Bill Cunningham is my new hero.

If you’re unfamiliar with Bill Cunningham he’s a street photographer, but more importantly the, first, original street photographer. He’s been documenting fashion on the streets of New York since the 50’s, working constantly to capture fantastic images in his unique style. Being from California I wasn’t familiar with Bill’s work until Kyle’s aunt told me about the film.

To say his accomplishments are astounding would be an understatement. He’s photographed both the fantastically rich and the complete unknowns, the particular thing they have in common would be incredible style. Mr. Cunningham is an extremely simple man. He has no kitchen and he uses a communal bathroom where he lives (or used to reside) in the Carnegie Building, one of the very few still able to live there. He shoots photos all day and all night long, never stopping, even at his spry age of 83.

But what I loved most about Bill Cunningham is his endless sense of wonder and creativity and his boundless positivity. To see a man who’s seen and done so much in his life, and still getting up and doing it every day, that’s quite remarkable. As I watched the movie I couldn’t help but smile the entire time, at parts even getting teary eye. The reason is, this man’s life brings him so much happiness, and the fact that he gets to wake up and do it again every day brings him endless joy is nothing short of marvelous. I can honestly say that I’ve never walked out of a documentary, or any movie for that matter, feeling so alive.

If you have the opportunity to see this film, do it right away. Bill Cunningham’s life is a testament to the beauty and positivity that makes this world good.


April 12, 2011