20 May 2011

Style in Film: Bill Cunningham New York

I'm doing this for the Infinitesimal Readership not in DC. Because they've already torn this from our grasp. Its run ended here on 12 May. Pooey.

Last night, I was privileged - and I mean that sincerely - to peek into the life and mind of an icon: Bill Cunningham.

I won't wax poetic about the film, nor about the man. Plenty of folks (including this great piece at Slate) have already done so. I will say just a few things.

If it's anywhere near you and you haven't already seen it, Go. Now. If it's not, get thee to Netflix or YouTube or whatever other means you can to see it.

When you do see it, you will laugh, and you will cry. And you will be inspired.

It's not often you get the opportunity to try and understand a contemporary monk. This film grants you that opportunity.

It's not often you get the opportunity to view a much-viewed place like New York City through a different lens. This film grants you that opportunity.

At 80+, it's possible we won't have him with us much longer. And I'll be on the first plane, train, or in the automobile, The Bean in tow, to pay homage to him in whatever way they let the public do so.

On a little bit of an aside, I was thrilled to have H as my arm candy last night (and meet up with two online gems, Ally from Wardrobe Oxygen and Elizabeth from So Much to Smile About). He can't rave enough about the film (rather than movie, btw, because it's that elevated). He's been quoting since we left:

His runner-up favorite, in which Bill explains why he tore up many a check for his work, especially the one when the original Details, of which he was an integral part, sold out, "If you take money, then they can tell you what to do."

His favorite, which occurs as Bill is showing his press pass to a Paris runway show flunky guarding the door at some prestigious show - and who doesn't recognize the man who has been documenting clothing since the 1960s. Another flunky - complete with greying ponytail - notices, and pulls Bill past the ignorant flunky, saying, "Don't you know this is the most important person on earth?"

Sent just now in an email to me about attending the next The Front Row event tonight: "have a great time tonight – and always remember that, 'fashion is the armor to survive everyday life.'"

Which is, my friends, the sum of it.


Allie (Wardrobe Oxygen) said...

Great post on this. What an amazing man and film. And a lovely evening with you & H!

Miss Scarlet said...

I didn't get a chance to see it, but will asap on DVD/Online!