Bill Cunningham New York

An engaging documentary on the Big Apple’s octogenarian street snapper

Bill Cunningham New York

© The New York Times and First Thought Films.

Director: Richard Press
Time Out rating:

Bill Cunningham, 84, is the man to thank (or throw your shoes at) for street style photography. For over 30 years he has cycled around New York, dodging taxis and snapping the city’s nattiest looks (hipsters, European aristos, transvestites, bike couriers – he’s got an egalitarian eye) for The New York Times. He was the first, and what’s obvious from this lively and engaging doc, an original.

‘The best fashion show is on the street,’ says Cunningham and his weekly column is a snapshot of the city as much as fashion. That he is an institution is clear from the A-list New Yorkers interviewed, including Tom Wolfe and Vogue editor Anna Wintour (‘If he ignores you it’s death’). As for Cunningham, he’s a treat to watch. An eccentric to his bones, he lives as frugally as a monk, sleeping on a fold-up bed in his tiny studio. He’s got an irresistible gee-whizz ’50s charm (‘Let’s get snapping and cracking’) and seems to live on adrenaline, exuding the pure joy of a man who has found his calling and won’t be retiring anytime soon.

Bill Cunningham New York opens at Shinjuku's Wald 9 and select cinemas nationwide on May 18

By Cath Clarke
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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