Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bill Cunningham New York (Rhoades)

“Bill Cunningham New York” Presents Interesting Snapshot
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Photographer Bill Cunningham may not be a familiar name to those of you who don’t peruse such fashion sources as The New York Times Style Section and Details. But he’s been a fixture on the New York scene for years, snapping images of haute couture on everyday people in the city’s streets.
This new documentary called “Bill Cunningham New Work” – currently showing at the Tropic Cinema – give you a warm portrait of Cunningham, a grinning bucktoothed visage who reminds you of an eccentric uncle. At 80, he still bicycles around New York, chronicling what people wear.
And this film by Richard Press reminds you of a family video, taken at birthday parties and other intimate events, where friends are interviewed, a collection of willing participants who hardly know what to say when put on the spot.
But these interviewees – ranging from Anna Wintour to Annette De La Renta, from Tom Wolfe to Mrs. Vincent Astor – say enough, when coupled with Bill Cunningham’s own utterance, to form a mosaic of this odd little man.
His studio is a clutter of filing cabinets. His film processing is of the One-Hour Photo variety. His philosophy is “If I don’t charge for the photos, you can’t tell me what to do.”
He likes to have say-so over page layouts that feature his photographs. He avoids saying anything bad about his subjects, not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings.
And when he leases a new apartment, he asks the landlord to remove the wooden cabinets and appliances in the kitchen to make room for his filing cabinets, stuffed with negative and proof sheets.
It’s a snapshot of a movie about a famous snapshooter.
[from Solares Hill]

No comments: