PASSION FOr BEAUTY: Noted fashion photographer Bill Cunningham sees himself as a student of beauty rather than an artist or a tastemaker. © 2011 ZEITGEIST FILMS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Bill Cunningham New York

Directed by Richard Press

The invigorating documentary Bill Cunningham New York offers a poignant portrait of a life devoted to the pursuit of beauty. The subject, a photographer who documents New York fashion in his long-running New York Times column "On the Street," is both an artist and a social commentator, though far too modest to describe himself as either.

Director Richard Press shoots Cun­ningham as he bikes cheerily through  New York traffic, negotiates galas and openings and snaps women and men al fresco whose couture catches his imagination. Cunningham—slender and fit, with a generous smile and a light frosting of white hair—is eternally clad in sky-blue lightweight jackets. He turned 80 during the filming but looks 20 years younger.

 

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