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Bill Cunningham New York (2011)

Anna Wintour , Bill Cunningham , Richard Press  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

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Bill Cunningham New York + Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel + The September Issue
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Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Wintour, Bill Cunningham, Tom Wolfe, Editta Sherman, Annette de la Renta
  • Directors: Richard Press
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2011
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0050I975Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

High-definition master, enhanced for widescreen viewing
20 minutes of additional scenes
Original U.S. theatrical trailer
5.1 surround and stereo soundtracks
English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SDH)
12-page collectible booklet with a director's statement and more

Editorial Reviews

Richard Press's flattering, but never fawning portrait of New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham distinguishes itself from most other art and fashion documentaries. First of all, Cunningham doesn't produce work that ends up on gallery walls. Instead, his candid snapshots of the city's most fashionable citizens have graced the paper's Style section for decades. That accessibility, however, doesn't make the octogenarian any less of an artist. Navigating New York with his humble Schwinn, clad in his blue canvas jacket, Cunningham doesn't miss a trick or a trend. In an era when anyone can take a digital photo and upload it to the Internet, he still shoots on film, and style mavens pour through his columns, "On the Street" and "Evening Hours," to see what's hip and whether or not they made the cut. For all his talent, though, Cunningham, a devout Catholic, eschews free drinks and other perks, and has lived in the same humble Carnegie Hall studio for 50 years. Press injects some suspense into the scenario when circumstances force Cunningham out of this rent-controlled paradise. Fortunately, a solution will be forthcoming. Along the way, Bonfire of the Vanities author Tom Wolfe, Vogue editor Anna Wintour (star of the equally fine September Issue), and other observers offer their thoughts, though Press always returns to Cunningham, whose joie de vivre will surely prove irresistible even to those who normally couldn't care less about cameras and clothes. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

"We all get dressed for Bill," says Vogue editor Anna Wintour. 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 he spots emerging from Manhattan sidewalks and high society charity soirees for his beloved Style section columns On The Street and Evening Hours.

Cunningham's enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. The range of people he snaps uptown fixtures like Wintour, Brooke Astor, Tom Wolfe and Annette de la Renta (who appear in the film out of their love for Bill), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between reveals a delirious and delicious romp through New York. But rarely has anyone embodied contradictions as happily and harmoniously as Bill, who lived a monk-like existence in the same Carnegie Hall studio at for fifty years, never eats in restaurants and gets around solely on bike number 29 (28 having been stolen).

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.

High-definition master, enhanced for widescreen viewing
20 minutes of additional scenes
Original U.S. theatrical trailer
5.1 surround and stereo soundtracks
English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SDH)

PLUS: A 12-page collectible booklet with a director s statement and more

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable! A Classic! August 28, 2011
Prior to watching BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, my unexamined assumptions about him - a Times fashion photog - were that he must be a man who spends his days and nights hanging around fabulous people and documenting all the fabulous things they do. In short, not typically my thing. However, after watching BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, what emerges in this terrifically edited film is a deeply profound and beautiful study of a TOTAL artist working within the grayer than ever world of journalism. This is one of the most carefully and delicately plotted documentaries I've seen in some time and the ending of this film is ... devastating! Yet, even with the rather dark and sad turn that this film takes toward the end (you'll have to see it), you'll walk away from this doc feeling buoyed by the spirit and character of this remarkable and remarkably unusual man. This is a classic and he is a class act.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sage of Seventh Avenue October 15, 2011
I came across this doc film clicking around on Netflix streaming late one night. At first it seemed puzzling why anyone would make a documentary about an old guy who works for the New York Times riding a bicycle around and photographing street fashions. But I quickly got drawn into the film and understood how the filmakers had chosen this unusual man.

Bill Cunningham, now in his 80's, has worked for many years as a street photographer, riding precariously around Manhatten on his bicycle and snapping (film) photos of what people are wearing. In an age when there is so much corruption in all walks of life, what comes out in the film is Cunningham's unique sense of personal integrity. In a city obsessed with status, he seems to care nothing for status or celebrity or personalities; he is only interested in the clothes, the ideas. When he attends society and fashion functions in the evening, which he does almost every evening, he declines to accept food or drink; it would compromise his ethics. Indeed here is a man who has no apparent vices and minimal personal life. He lives frugally. He strives to be honest. He strives to do no harm. He cares little for his comfort. He has simply made a life of observing how people in New York express themselves through fashion; it is enough for him. "I have tried to play a straight game" he says about his life.

One might not be surprised to hear that a medieval monk or pure mathematician or a scholar of ancient languages had such an ascetic and, one may say, spiritually refined existence, but in the New York fashion world! And so he is a beloved fixture in New York. An inspiring documentary, which affirms how one can live in the everyday world and yet hold to an "impeccable path."
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This is a complicated film to rate. I give the filmmakers 4.7 stars for production, 1.3 stars for the intended message, and 5 stars for the unintended message they left me with.

Re: production, the director/production team unearthed some wonderful old footage and tied it in with the new footage elegantly and even powerfully. They picked interviewees who were colorful, both literally and figuratively. They tied strings of narrative through the documentary in order to make it less like a dry profile. And most impressively, they knew what to leave out: they didn't show Bill Cunningham living in his new apartment, and they didn't show Bill Cunningham at church. Those would have been obvious things to do, but they didn't do it, and I applaud them for that.

But in terms of thoughtfulness, in terms of helping us understand why any of this matters, the filmmakers left something to be desired. If the film had ended after the first 60 minutes, I would have given it exactly 1 star. That's because in the first 60 minutes, interspersed between interviews with ultra-status-conscious people who were out to convince the world (and themselves) that they were unique little flowers, the filmmakers were giving us little nuggets of junior varsity wisdom. They were appealing to our inner-adolescent with lessons like "follow your passion" and "express yourself" and "be nice to each other."

The final 24 minutes, though, were very interesting, much less adolescent-y, and, at times, moving.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best movie of the year May 2, 2011
By Casey
This is one of the warmest charming movies I have ever seen. Everyone that lives in a major city (and everyone else too for that matter) should see this movie. I love you Bill!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite movie this year!!! August 24, 2011
By dmj777
Bill Cunningham New York snuck up on me and made me feel so many things... First, If you love NYC this is a must see film. I had no idea who Bill Cunningham was, however his story changed my life. Bill's passion for fashion on the streets of NYC is the premise of the film. It will prompt you to find your passion and live it!! Can't wait till it is out on DVD. I will buy it the day it comes out and share with friends who didn't get a chance to see it in theatres.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Bill Cunningham... January 3, 2012
By MeinVA
Prior to watching this documentary, I knew nothing of Bill Cunningham. All I can say now is, the time spent watching Bill Cunningham work...well, not really work, he's LIVING and enjoying every moment of it, was the best time I've spent getting to know someone in a very, very long time. Thank you, Bill Cunningham, for what you do and for touching us...inspiring us...with your honest, simple approach and way of life. Most of the time with the news in the headlines, I must admit that I'm embarrassed to be part of the human make me proud to be part of it. Amazing eye, amazing man...great documentary!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
So touching and interesting. Shows life isn't about "things"
Published 1 day ago by Antje Wortman
5.0 out of 5 stars Original!
A very humbling documentary to one of my favorite fashion photographers of all time.
Published 1 month ago by raymondshead
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved Cunningham and you can tell he loved what he ...
Loved Cunningham and you can tell he loved what he did...Another great video for video library...Well packaged and delivered expediently...
Published 1 month ago by Alice
5.0 out of 5 stars There is nothing else like this
This is a documentary like no other I have every viewed. It will make you feel good about an American that his lived a long, productive and interesting life. Read more
Published 2 months ago by L. Lindisch
4.0 out of 5 stars The humblest living legend the fashion world has known
I have enjoyed Bill Cunningham's photography and NY Times column for many years now. This documentary was a fitting honest and sweet tribute to the humblest living legend the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This man is an amazing artist
This documentary is a wonderful window into the psyche and lifestyle of a true artist. He is a living treasure.
Published 2 months ago by n2zsm
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie, wrong category
I was searching through "foreign movies" and this film came up near the end of the listings. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Yvonne Caruthers
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and Charming
This is a delightful film about a delightful man (albeit, an unusual one).

As the film tells his story, it becomes more and more engaging. The photos are wonderful.... Read more
Published 4 months ago by BarbZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Must be seen
This is reallyI amazing life. This dvd is not to be missed, highly recommended. I enjoyed it fully and had to watch it twice in a row. It is so inspiring.
Published 4 months ago by Milica Zelenovic
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it
This is a fascinating look into the life and work of a unique human- one that highlights not only the connections Cunningham has with the world of fashion but that also provides a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by hbird
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