// Presented as part of Filmatique's The Creation of Meaning Series //
Spotlight on Bill Cunningham New York
Richard Press / 2010, Abu Dhabi, Canberra, Melbourne, Nantucket, New Directors/New Films, NYT Critics' Pick, Palm Springs, Sydney / 84'
The “Bill” in question is 80+ New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” Documenting uptown fixtures (Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller—who all appear in the film out of their love for Bill), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. In turn, Bill Cunningham New York is a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace.
Richard Press' feature documentary debut premiered at Abu Dhabi, where it won Best First Documentary; Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, where it won the Audience Awards; and Nantucket, where it won Best Storytelling in a Documentary.
"[A] captivating and moving portrait of a singular man and a passing era… capturing a 'look at me' milieu with impish modesty"
- Carina Chocano, Film Review, The New York Times