Thanks to our friends at Harper’s Bazaar, we got to see the documentary Bill Cunningham New York last night, and we thoroughly enjoyed every one of its 84 minutes. It’s a profile of Bill Cunningham, The New York Times‘ street style photographer, the original one of his much-imitated profession. We’d wager that most lovers of fashion, photography, street style, journalism and eccentric, noble, hardworking people would, too, but just in case you need a little encouragement or convincing, here’s our case for going to see it.
1) It’s just a really good movie. There wasn’t a point when we weren’t entertained, laughing, on the verge of tears (because this movie goes there), learning something new during the entire film. Well, actually some of the scenes which feature Cunningham riding his bike around New York City are a little indulgent, but other than that, this movie is impressively engaging from start to finish.
2) You’re going to learn something new. Did you know that there were really only a handful of photographers at Yves Saint Laurent‘s first ready-to-wear show? Did you you know the original Details magazine wasn’t a shrine to buff young white guys, but a laboratory for showing off the most talented up-and-coming designers? You did not. And neither did we. But now we do, because we saw this movie.
3) All the cool kids are doing it. Seriously. Even Anna Wintour has seen this film — she’s in it, after all. So get your style-obsessed friends in a group and make a night of it. We promise it’ll be fun.
4) People who review films and fashion professionally laud it up and down. The Times called it a “captivating and moving portrait of a singular man and a passing era.” Stephen Gan, creative director of Harper’s and editor of V Man, called Cunningham “fashion’s Saint Peter.” Movieline said it was “glorious.” And when was the last time Movieline said something was glorious?
5) Styleite is in it! Our associate editor Julia Rubin was once captured by the photographer as she crossed a street in Midtown, and a photo of her makes an appearance in the film! We’re famous! (Also we’re totally jealous of Julia for being photographed by Cunningham in the first place; the movie takes it to a whole other level.)
Still not convinced? OK. Well, try the trailer on for size here. If you see it and still don’t want to go, we don’t know what we can say to change your mind.
Capturing a ‘Look at Me’ Milieu With Impish Modesty [The New York Times]
STEPHEN GAN ON BILL CUNNINGHAM [Harper's Bazaar]
REVIEW: Glorious Bill Cunningham New York Captures the Face of the City, and Sometimes Its Feet [MovieLine]