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Bill Cunningham New York [DVD]


Price: £5.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Bill Cunningham New York [DVD] + Diana Vreeland - The Eye Has To Travel [DVD] + The September Issue [DVD] [2009]
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Product details

  • Directors: Richard Press
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Dogwoof
  • DVD Release Date: 9 April 2012
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AFCSRQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,861 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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 (Anna 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.


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Wilson on 15 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Beautifully made and edited documentary about the great New York fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.

Bill is a small, hunched, elderly, deaf man with bad teeth and a Nikon film camera round his neck. He rides his bike through the streets of New York before chaining it to a lamppost (he's had 27 bikes stolen) and taking photographs of street fashion for the New York Times. In the evenings he cycles to glittering charity events and takes photographs of the clothes. Bill doesn't care how famous you are (his dismissive of celebrities in their "free dresses"). If you are wearing interesting clothes well he will make a photograph if not he'll look elsewhere.

A private and reserved man whose only interest is in recording the evolving fashion trends. He lives a spartan life in a tiny apartment in Carnegie Hall full of filing cabinets holding all the film he has ever exposed with hundreds of books on fashion tucked into every nook and cranny. Bill knows everybody who's anybody in New York but hardly anybody knows Bill. He goes to Paris for Fashion Week and waits patiently outside one of the shows with his invitation amongst all the other photographers. It looks like there's no space for for this little old man and the security person can't find his name on the list when someone rushes out of the building and leads him in "this is the most important person in the world" Bill gets seated in the front row but he will only photograph the clothes that are interesting.

The film has cameo appearances by the New York Glitterati and some wonderfully eccentric fellow residents of Carnegie Hall but the enigma which is Bill dominates.

Finally the film lifts a small corner of Bills facade and we get a hint of the price that his monomania has exacted from his emotional life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Carroll on 15 Jun 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An interesting insight into the life of an 80+ New York photographer who seems to work most of the day and night, such dedication can only be admired. Because it's such a unique film I think I can only give my biased opinion as both as a cyclist and photographer. The cinema showing this was in Leeds so I decided to buy the DVD and found it very enjoyable. From a photographic point of view the fact he still uses film and the fact that the New York Times tolerates this seems to be because he doesn't cost much. At least one magazine editor says "Bill" never cashed any of the cheques she gave him in payment and he says if you don't get paid for what you do then you can do what you want.

What he doesn't explain is where exactly he earns his money to allow him to carry out all this voluntary work. I am sure lots of very keen young photojournalists would find this DVD useful if only for his techniques used and his simple equipment. No 5K digital cameras here just a couple of hundred pounds in an old Nikon SLR and a couple of rolls film, not even auto focus. Lots of photographers could learn a lot from this eccentric octogenarian and the techniques used.

For the sake of spending a few pounds, which you would struggle to buy a pizza for, then it would be money well spent for an aspiring photographer or anyone interested in Bohemian lifestyles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By daveywavey10 on 4 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I always watch Bill's 'On the street" weekly report and was looking forward to seeing this film. The film shows Bill's passion for fashion and his lack of interest in the modern culture of celebrity. I wanted to know the real Bill, and the film delves into his past, including his stint in the Military and his family. Bill's use of the words 'child' and 'kid' made me laugh and you can't but wonder who will carry on Bill's column when he leaves us. Bill's flatmates are truly one offs and they are a key part of this documentary. Bill was riding his 27th bike when this was made - he's probably on his 30th now!
DW
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Sep 2012
Format: DVD
I watched this on Sky Arts. I am a semi-pro photographer but don't do fashion and I've never been to New York.

In this hyper digital age, seeing an elderly gentleman, in a disposable rain mac and getting about on an old bicycle shooting anybody and anything that goes by him on the streets of New York is truly amazing and inspiring. He then chains up his bike outside the New York Times swanky offices and unloads Fuji FILM! On the phone, he says only that he is the old man on the bike (to the developing lab, an ordinary store, down-town somewhere) and can someone called (Christian name, I forget) will pick up his prints?

Understatement is his key. He is chatty and engaging and has his own opinions as to how his piece in the paper should look. He lives in a tiny apartment that is part of the artist's studios connected to Carnegie Hall - it's full of boxes of negatives, floor to ceiling - and the entire block of tenants have to move. "A Kitchen, a bathroom?! Who wants to bother with that? I just want to be out taking pictures!".

As you can imagine a whole host of hyper colourful characters, who've either been his subjects or know of him add to the kaleidoscopic mix of contributors. It culminates with him covering the Paris fashion show, where he sits alongside the catwalk like an excited child, amongst all the young, beautiful and artificial people, still dressed in his blue anorak!

The best thing about this docu is that you definitely don't need to know about photography OR fashion. The human character here is the subject and it is all fascinating. For those of us who might be interested in anything more than this, it's a double delight.
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