Walking through the streets of your city, what do you see? If you’re Bill Cunningham you have an eye to see and appreciate the eclectic fashion of everyday people. At 82 years old, Bill Cunningham has given his life to documenting and celebrating the narrative of New York City street life. He has photographed NYC fashion and society for over 50 years and is most well known for his weekly columns: “On the Street” and “Evening Hours” in the New York Times.
Cunningham is a remarkable anomaly of a man; the kind of man we’d all want as a grandfather. He is kind, daring, and humble. He is an egalitarian and a maverick. He’s a historian. He uses his camera like a pen, not trying to take the best photographs but wanting to honestly document ordinary New Yorkers going about their lives. Cunningham truly has eyes that see. Yes, they are keenly trained to see all things fashion, but they see in incredibly beautiful and fascinating ways.
It took Richard Press, the film’s director, ten persistent years to ease Cunningham into being the subject of this documentary. And still, the film is shot without a film crew (multiple cameras made Bill uneasy) and he has yet to even see it.
Bill Cunningham is a cultural anthropologist and this documentary celebrates and honors his story. There is something absolutely captivating about this sweet man and he has a thing or two to teach all of us about what it means to be an artist with eyes that see.
Enjoy via Netflix Instant Stream.