Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bill Cunningham's New York

He who seeks beauty will find it.  --Bill Cunningham

I read about this documentary last summer.   I was not able to make a screening of it at the IU Cinema, so I put it on my netflix queue and finally had the opportunity to watch it over the holidays. Bill Cunningham is the long time fashion/style photographer for the New York Times. He has been taking pictures of life on the streets of New York for over 40 years.  His life of photography, fashion, culture and ultimately kindness makes for a fascinating study.

I think in all places and in every line of work there is always someone who does what they do forever, and with a singular love and fascination. These people always become mini-icons in your work place or town.  Bill Cunningham is this for fashion and New York City.

I am not particularly interested in fashion for myself and am always kind of amused by the idea of couture and fashion shows but I love this man.  I especially love that he is really just an honest man trying to do what he loves best--introduce the world to the beauty of the people of New York.   He has done it so well and so consistently and for so long that he has become a celebrity in his own right. He is incredibly modest about it and also very old fashioned--still using real film and having to scan his weekly photos to that the graphic designer can lay out his pages for the style section on Sunday. This documentary made a number of best lists for 2011.

It is a simple story of a life lived happily and very well.  I guarantee if you see this you will fall in love with this man.  It makes me want to do everything I do simply and well and with joy.

Next time I go to new York, I will certainly watch for him on his bicycle with his trademark working man's blue blazer.


Steph said...

"simply and well with joy" - I love that idea!

Anonymous said...

I have been WANTING to watch this from my instant download queue, so now I will! Thanks, MKP