Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bill Cunningham, New York (2011) 4/5


Those who seek beauty, WILL find it!

This is why I love documentaries. If a fictional movie was released about an eighty-year-old man who lives in Carnegie Hall, works as a fashion photographer for the New York Times, spends every waking moment riding his bike around New York snapping photos of interesting fashion, and has never had a romantic relationship, most people would view the film as laughably unrealistic. It is rare that a single person can carry an entire documentary, but Mr. Cunningham is a magically interesting individual. The filmmakers treat him with great respect and kid gloves as they follow him throughout his day pausing for only a couple of questions at a time. Only once the viewer has garnered an interest an connection with the subject are the emotional and moving questions broached. This emotional climax provides a beautiful payoff for the film that broadens its appeal beyond the documentophile such as myself.

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