Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bill Cunningham New York

I've lived in Princeton Landing long enough to remember when—in the pre-online era—nearly all the driveways were graced each morning with a blue plastic New York Times bag. So, many of you may be familiar with the work of Bill Cunningham, the photojournalist whose "On the Street" fashion column has run for decades in The Times. For those of you who aren't, there is a maah-vah-lous piece about Mr. Cunningham in The New Yorker. Today the documentary Bill Cunningham New York, a film by Richard Press, opened at Film Forum in Manhattan.

Followers of street-style photography may now think of Scott Schuman or Garance Doré, but 82-year-old Bill Cunningham is the pioneer of this domain. He is also one of New York's great characters. The filmmakers set out to capture Bill's quirky urban story in their documentary. Mark Holcomb for The Village Voice says, "No passion for fashion is required to enjoy this absorbing portrait . . . a near Buddhist reflection on what it takes to fully engage Gotham, as well as an astute snapshot of its evermore avaricious soul."

Bill Cunningham New York is at Film Forum in New York City through March 29. On April 1 it will play at Landmark's Ritz at the Bourse in Philadelphia. The film's website offers more information.