Bill Cunningham New York Review

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A documentary following legendary New York photographer Bill Cunningham at work and play in his home town.


Bill Cunningham is sufficiently respected a photographer for Vogue editor Anna Wintour and novelist Tom Wolfe to sing his praises in this affectionate documentary. Cycling around Manhattan, he divides his time (and his two New York Times columns) between celebrities in their finery and the fashion statements of ordinary residents that epitomise the spirit of the city that never sleeps. Making for a compelling contrast with Smash His Camera, Leon Gast’s profile of paparazzo Ron Galella, this not only eulogises a consummate professional, it also affords a showcase for Cunningham’s near-anthropological obsession with the changing face and tastes of New York, creating an urban love letter Woody Allen would be proud of.

As Cunningham goes about his work chronicling changes in fashion and the city he loves, a portrait emerges of a man deserving of ever bit of the respect and esteem in which he's held. There's few sharp edges or dirt digging, but it's no less engaging for