And Just Like That… Episode 4 Review

by KnigaWorm

I decided to try something new in these rambling reviews, where I concentrate on each character and discuss the overall issues at the end of the review.

SPOILER ALERT! for the entire show and film collection of Sex and City. And obvi, for this show.

S1E04: Some of my best friends

Carrie – Like I feared, Carrie is going back to being her old self, including smoking, apparently. REALLY?!?!?!? Are we really going to try and make smoking great again in the age of Corona where people are literally fighting to breathe?!!? Speaking of which, when is this show supposed to be taking place? Nobody is wearing masks, so is this pre-Corona? I suppose… Anyway, Carrie is selling her and Big’s apartment and befriends her realtor. And as always, the show is vague on the logistics. Starting with, is Carrie seriously going to live in her old apartment? What about all the stuff that she’s accumulated over the years of living with Big? Even if she sells all the furniture and stuff, where are all her clothes and shoes gonna go? Don’t even try to tell me that it’s all gonna fit in the same closet. As someone who has recently downsized her life, I know for a fact that you accumulate stuff by the size of your home. So Carrie must have so much stuff after years of living in a giant apartment. Also, has she ever paid back Charlotte for the money she lent her for the down payment?

Anyway, this new friend is so obviously a Samantha clone – a single and fabulous woman – that I have no doubt their budding friendship is gonna happen. There’s not much personality to speak of beyond the Samantha persona so let’s move on.

Miranda – Continues to struggle with all the choices that she’s made in her life, which is not subtly revealed in her conversation with her new Black friend. See, you guys, we’re getting two Black friends, a Latina, and an ethnically ambiguous Samantha. This show is so diverse! Anyway, Miranda sort of advocates for having a child, but only if you really really want to. But if not, that’s fine as well. Just as long as you remember that you will always have something missing in your life. Wow, what an uplifting message!

Charlotte – Continues to go through a menopause-induced mental breakdown, this time working on the important issue of race. Of course by inducing the levels of cringe that only the second movie managed while trying to edumacate Muslim women on the issues of feminism. She cancels Harry’s colonoscopy three times just to have a show-off dinner party for her one important Black friend (also, just her one Black friend). The dinner ends up getting cancelled anyway, so she and Harry proceed to embarrass themselves at the Black friend’s birthday party. Is there a more tired way of showing how bad White people are at race than showing them mistake one Black person for another? If there is, please let me know. Anyway, it turns out relatively well, mainly because the Black friend is super-cool and I should start learning her name.

OTHERS – Is this seriously how we’re dispatching off Stanford Blatch?!?!?!!? THE STANFORD BLATCH??!?!?!?!!? By stating that he is managing a 17-year-old Tiktoker and moving to Japan for her indefinitely?!?!?!!? Oh and also, just like that, he wants a divorce. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?!?!?!? This hurts more than what they did to Big. And sure, maybe having two major characters die within a span of two episodes would have been too much but couldn’t you have thought of something else?! In fact, this is an even worse treatment than Samantha got. And Stanford was always there for Carrie, even if the further the show (and the films) went, the more he got reduced to an insufferable gay stereotype. Still, Stanford deserved so much more, you monsters.

Overall, this show continues to get progressively worse… Kim Catrall has truly dodged a bullet! I sure hope she doesn’t get bullied into joining this show for a second season if there ever is one.

And Just Like That… Episode 3 Review

by KnigaWorm

SPOILER ALERT! for the entire show and film collection of Sex and the City. And obvi, for Episodes 1&2 of this show.

S1E03: When in Rome

Haha, I already spoiled the fact that Natasha is coming back this episode! Although, I remember her from the trailers – back when we didn’t know about Big, so Natasha being there felt forced. Well, at least now she has a reason to be there. And so does Aidan, for that matter, but that’s not here yet, I hope.

Judging by the title, and the opening scene, Carrie is gonna put all her efforts into making it big in the cringe podcast world. Which makes sense, I guess, cause she needs something to do now that Big has been disposed of.

Charlotte and her messed up face continue to be the worst.

The way that they bring back Natasha is the worst. And also WHY?! What’s the point of bringing her back? I guess we’ll know soon enough. And Carrie saying that Big did nothing wrong to Natasha and Carrie was the one having an affair with someone else’s husband is so infuriating that I don’t even want to go there.

Please tell me this isn’t happening! Charlotte is the last person who should be dealing with a child’s gender identity dilemma. This is gonna be the worst.

Meanwhile, Carrie is going crazy over all the things that Big was (possibly) hiding from her. And how does Carrie not realise that Gogi is Big’s computer password?

So Carrie messaged Natasha on Instagram and got blocked. Haha, you go, girl!

Meanwhile, Charlotte found a whole bunch of tiny liquor bottles in Miranda’s backpack. So hopefully we’ll be focusing on this serious issue now. Also, Miranda and Steve haven’t had sex for years? Years?! How is that even possible? Don’t tell me that’s why Miranda drinks.

So Natasha flat-out ghosted Carrie – to the point where she told her assistant to tell Carrie that she was in Rome… when Carrie saw her walk into her building at work. And then Carrie and the girls were huffing and puffing past Natasha’s office and she saw them! So now she knows that Carrie knows and I have no idea what’s gonna happen but it’s not gonna end well for sure.

In the end, it was not bad but also not interesting. Another missed opportunity. And just like that, this show is just as bad as we feared.

And Just Like That… Episode 2 Review

by KnigaWorm

SPOILER ALERT! for the entire show and film collection of Sex and the City. And obvi, Episode 1 of this show.

S1E02: Little Black Dress

I can’t look at Stanford being sad over Big because Stanford is gonna die next… And unlike Chris Noth, Willie Garson is actually dead, so they have to write him off the show by killing him – there’s no other way. They can’t relocate him like Samantha cause thank God, Kim Catrall is fine. But Stanford… I can’t.

Carrie is taking it well, but I know this pain – it’s slow and lasting. She will hold together for the funeral and then she’ll gradually fall apart. At least Miranda and Charlotte are with her. Of course, Carrie called Miranda first.

Charlotte should not be crying with that messed up face. And yeah… Charlotte has gone insane. It’s official now, there were signs before but now this is full-blown… madness.

And Miranda continues to win her law education… not. She has also changed way too much.

So the funeral is… chic. A normal New York City event. Yeah, of course, that’s how Carrie decided to handle it. And of course, she’s socialising and not crying. And yeah, Susan Sharon might be a lot, but she has a point – does no one remember how crap Big was for most of the show? It’s not important at the funeral, but a valid point nonetheless.

This is sad… just sad. Carrie has never been a normal emotional person, so her reaction is normal for her. The fact that she can’t sleep even with a sleeping pill shows just how much she misses Big and what a state she’s in.

So far, I am surprisingly happy with this remake. Maybe happy is not the right word, given what we’re dealing with here, but I was not expecting to like this and yet, I do. I am looking forward to next week.

And Just Like That… Episode 1 Review

by KnigaWorm

And just like that… I’ve decided to come back to blogging. Missed me?

Anyway, what better way to come out of unexpected self-imposed retirement than by reviewing a show that I am lovingly referring to as Sex in the Retirement Home? I am actually watching the show in real-time and commenting as I go along, but at first, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to post my comments here, but hey, any content is better than no content, right?

Since the show airs one new episode per week, I will be sticking to a weekly TV Show Wednesday (or as we call it, What’u watchin’ Wednesday) but while I still have some reviews to catch up on, I’ll post them daily.

As always, SPOILER ALERT! for this instalment and the rest of the series and movies.

S1E01: Hello, it’s me

Here we go again… Right off the bat I am annoyed by Carrie’s over-excitement about getting a table, and her terrible puns which have not aged well, but at least her style is not as crazy as I feared. And SJP doesn’t look as bad as I feared – they somehow live-photoshop her, or they just have wizards working in lighting and make-up. You know who doesn’t look good? Charlotte. Oh boy… And the worst part is, with that messed up face full of Botox and God knows what else, she has the nerve to tell Miranda to dye her hair since she’s going back to school. At least Miranda genuinely looks good, and that hair actually works really well for her. Charlotte, on the other hand, looks atrocious, especially when she smiles which she does a lot, unfortunately. And she continues to be the most insipid character of the four, or now three, and it’s even more apparent now that she has more screen time.

Speaking of the fabulous elephant in the room, they do address Samantha’s absence with all the details of the real-life spat… Only now Samantha looks like the callous one, and true to form, she does look that way in real life as well, depending on whose side you’re on. Frankly, I couldn’t care less, but I do know that Samantha would have made this revival more tolerable.

Okay, I take it back – SJP looks bad. There are some moments of the old Carrie, but then she turns into the Wicked Witch of the West. Good thing Big hasn’t changed much. And I do like their relationship. I hear they’re gonna bring Aidan back, I hope not for a cheap and fake possible cheating situation. aren’t we over this yet?

Meanwhile, Miranda has just bombed so hard on her first day in school. Yikes! The one smart collected woman of the group has vanished. Now we are back to the horrible movie characters, and here I was hoping to get a little bit of the show vibes back. Well, too bad on me for false hopes.

Oh crap, here is the extra cringe podcast thing from the trailers. I already wanna die… May I not comment on this whole situation?

Hahahahahahaha, Carrie is the OG of shopping addiction, not the sex discussion of any kind. She was a prude in her thirties and of course, she is even more of a prude in her fifties. Also, why the hell does she need this idiotic blog?

ARE. YOU. FUCKING. KIDDING. ME?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!

And just like that, you kill off Big!?!?!?!?!?!? What even is the purpose of this idiotic revival without him!?!? I can’t even… And the fact that he waited for Carrie to come back to (I’m assuming) see her again and she didn’t even try to give him his pills or call an ambulance, but instead got her shoes wet – that’s the sacrifice, people! Okay, fine, I get the point that Vulture is making – switching focus from Carrie and Big’s happily ever after to a more sombre reality is brave and makes the show stand out from the original. True, we’ve had plenty of Carrie and Big drama over the years, we don’t need to artificially create more. Because you know that showing functional strong marriages is not what this show is about. God forbid you show a couple of grown adults who have a strong stable marriage and don’t use every opportunity to pull a flimsy fight out of their ass. I still have hope for Miranda and Steve – he is adorable as ever with his new hearing loss – and perhaps the new black power couple will be an interesting mix, but dammit, I wanted to see Carrie and Big being adults for once. Oh well… And just like that, Carrie is back to being an imbecile. I just hope that she gets to keep the apartment, I don’t want her back in that shoebox. Plus, where would Stanford ride out his fights with Anthony?… Although, we’re not getting more of that, since Willie Garson actually passed away during filming and he will be written out of the show somehow. I’m guessing Big is not the only character we’ll be burying this season.


by Valeria Ivanova

My name is Brooke. My story began on December 24, 2020, when I was with my friends in a cozy restaurant in the center of Manhattan, drinking red wine and discussing plans and bright moments from the past. My friends told me about the upcoming holidays with their parents and numerous relatives, some stories about vacations at the sea and many other hilarious adventures, but I heard only fragments of their speech that made my heart ache from the inside.

– “My dad took up bowling, but most likely he just found a new girlfriend and …”

– “That’s crazy! Haha, babe, my father was against the dog all his life, but he bought it and now they even sleep together. Look at them! They are…”

– “Guys, my daddy taught me to play the guitar when we were in Hawaii…”

And so on and so forth. I left the restaurant without remembering a single specific story because I was only thinking about my dad.

According to my mother’s stories, he was the best husband and father in the world, but I was not destined to be convinced of this because he died on September 11, 2001, during the terrorist attack in the Twin Towers. I only saw him in photos where they were so happy with my mom that I imagined what my life would have been like if the tragedy had not happened 19 years ago. My main desire has always been to see him at least for a moment, alive, smiling  his charming smile.

I was walking home all broken and a little drunk, with obsessive thoughts about the past. Passing by beautiful Christmas trees and colorful billboards, I seemed to plunge into a trance, noticing nothing concrete, only a general mess. My attention was attracted by a discreet ad on the wall of some non-trendy cafe. As I got closer, I read that some scientists have developed an innovative machine that can transfer a person to the past without risking changing the time continuum and history. Something lit up inside me, it was hope. After looking through the lines about the possible consequences and risks of failure, I came to the main point. It was obvious that they needed volunteers. With trembling hands, I tore off a piece of paper with a phone number and address and, already sober from the cold, rushed home. It was vitally important for me to see him, my father, the person thanks to whom I am a part of this world. I didn’t say a word about the experiment to my mother, she had had enough worries lately, so I decided not to risk her mental health because of my impulsiveness.

The next day I called the number, but no one answered me. In the evening, I saw a missed call from this number and cursed myself for constantly putting the phone on silent mode. At six in the morning, tired of endlessly waiting for calls, I received a message from an unknown number: come at one o’clock in the afternoon to the laboratory of Mr. Digory Mcducken without delay. I looked at the address and of course I couldn’t sleep anymore.

At 12:40, having dressed in a flimsy  jumper, I was shivering from the cold in front of the huge gray door of the building where the chemical fiber processing plant used to be located. At exactly one o’clock, the door opened and a small man with a wrinkled face and a malicious grin asked me to follow him. I was walking as if spellbound, and around me there were huge containers with toxic waste, some boards, stairs, construction materials, as well as a lot of tools, some of which I had never seen in my life and did not know their purpose. We came to a small door that was closed, the guide brought his face to the indicator, and as if at the click of his fingers, the door swung open.

The room in which we found ourselves was like a look at  the future: huge machines, continuously working mechanisms, bright hospital light and the lack of any connection to the real world. People in white coats greeted us joyfully, they were scientists and their assistants.

– “We are glad to welcome you, Brooke! We know what brought you to us, but we want to make sure that you understand all the risks and unforeseen consequences that may occur during the experiment?”

I was completely at a loss because I didn’t tell anyone my name or what my goal was. I said one single phrase:

– “I know exactly what I want, and my motivation is stronger than fear.”

– “Well, then we can start the experiment.”

I didn’t doubt for a second, but when a little man looked at me with sadness in his eyes, I realized that I might not be able to return home. I opened my phone, wrote to my mom that I would be back late tonight so that she would fall asleep without me, and handed the gadget over to the storage room. White people with faces concealed by protective masks asked me to remove any metal objects, as well as shoes. Then we went to the compartment with a huge capsule, which was an innovative development. There was nothing inside it but air and a couple of buttons. After the briefing, I remembered that the purple button was a pause, it was under the right hand, the green one allowed to finish the experiment and go back, however, I was not given any guarantees that it really worked this way. I had to think about what I wanted to see in order to start the process, and I began to recall all the stories, photos and memorabilia related to dad. At one moment, I felt a push and closed my eyes more tightly, after a couple of seconds I lost consciousness.

After a certain amount of time, I woke up in my house, not in my room, but in my mother’s bedroom. I found myself lying on top of her and was afraid that I might harm her, however, she was sleeping peacefully, I saw that she was pregnant. My dad was lying nearby, with his blanket pulled over his head, I immediately wanted to look at his face. Realizing that I could not move objects, I began to wait for them to wake up to watch him. I looked around the room, everything was so unusual there, from the wallpaper and posters on the walls to the furniture and carpet. My thoughts were interrupted by the shrill ringing of the alarm clock, which was immediately turned off by dad’s hand sticking out of the blanket. Here it happened, the moment I was waiting for – I saw him for the first time.

The first thing that caught my eye was his height, he was tall, then his face, sleepy with a red stripe on his cheek from the pillow. He had the same nose as me, with a hump and I quickly noticed this feature, as well as the extraordinary beauty of his eyes that were the color of an autumn rainy sky. His body was pumped up and embossed, although I should not have paid attention to this, after all, he was my dad.

While I was looking at him from all sides, he was getting dressed and talking to my mother about plans for the day, he had an important meeting planned that was supposed to improve the company’s position in the market, he was a little shaken with excitement. Mom tried to make jokes, but she understood that he wasn’t listening to her. Dressed in a gray suit with a soft green tie, he gently kissed her, took orange juice from the fridge and went down the stairs to the street. I followed him, and when I went outside, I realized that we were in a completely different Manhattan. People dressed in a different type of business style clothing, running to work, not noticing anything around them, talking on strange mobile phones. They were not at all like us from 2020. Despite their busy schedule, they were more open and friendly, dad greeted some of them and exchanged polite phrases about health and plans for the weekend, while not stopping running to work. After looking at his watch, he decided to go to Starbucks and buy coffee, where he met his colleague. They were animatedly discussing the project, and I just wanted this moment not to end, I wanted to snuggle up to my father and never let him go.

As I got closer to them, I glanced at his colleague’s phone, I saw the date and time and the blood froze in my veins. 9/11 … 2001. The day of the tragedy. Why, why did I come to this day, what should I learn about my dad on the day of his death?

I almost lost sight of my dad when he and a colleague headed to the office from the  cafe. The time was 8:00. I walked next to him, unable to contain my emotions, it’s good that he couldn’t see me. He passed through the main entrance to the skyscraper, it was the north tower, beautiful, with huge windows illuminated by the autumn sun. The awareness of how many floors there were did not come immediately, then I felt goosebumps.  Nevertheless, it was worse to realize how many people were there. We went through the reception and found ourselves at the elevator that took us to the 64th floor. Time flew inexorably fast, my father went into the meeting room, where his colleagues and the company director were waiting for him. They began to discuss the project, and I remembered the expression of his face, the movements of his hands, his smile and how he nervously adjusted his tie. I saw how involved he was in the process of his work, how he was in love with what he was doing. I was admiring him and my hands were shaking with fear.

At 8:40, they started getting ready to leave for the conference room, it was on the 65th floor, which I found out when we were in the elevator again. I was counting the seconds until the crash, I couldn’t help, I couldn’t do anything, just watch. I wanted to run away from powerlessness, but I had to stay.

8:46, the plane crashed into the tower, a second, a frighteningly loud crack of glass, walls that began to shake and the ceiling that began to collapse. Panic in the eyes of people, complete misunderstanding of what was happening…I looked only at my father, who tried to remain calm, but was scared and immobilized from fear. Everyone ran to the exit and only my father and his colleague understood that people were dying on the floors above, they were covered with the debris of the building, everything was plunged into a dark smog, I lost sight of my father, but I ran to the stairs, he and his friend ran upstairs. Loud  screams could be heard on all floors, some people could not run away from the horror and just sat on the stairs, dad persuaded them to leave, his friend grabbed them and dragged them down.

It became difficult for them to breathe, to walk, but they tried to find survivors, realizing that it was impossible to help everyone, my father sat down on the stairs, took out his phone and started calling someone. I recognized the voice, it was my mother, he said to her these words: “Honey, dear bubu, I know you’re watching TV now, but I’m alive, I’ll try to get back to you, but there are a lot of people who need help, I have to do something, I love you madly, don’t cry, everything will be fine. Stop crying, please, I want you to call her Brooke, I know that you prefer the name Emily. I love her. I love you, Rachel, try to calm down, breathe, smile. I will keep my vow at the altar, and I will love you until my last breath. Goodbye.”

My heart was broken, tears were streaming down my cheeks, I saw his despair, his tears and his great desire to help others, he stood up and shouted in clouds of smoke to those who could still hear, women and men were walking towards his voice, wounded by shrapnel, covered in blood and with a monstrous cough. He inhaled smoke, lost consciousness, he fell, and I saw that he was barely breathing, I lay down on his body, trying to remember every detail, I sobbed desperately. He stopped breathing, there was no one who could help him. I went to the glass and saw how people were thrown from the windows. One of them looked straight into my eyes, I don’t think he was alive at that moment.

I understood that another plane had already rammed the south tower, after a while the buildings collapsed , but I had already left the tower, I could no longer look at the death of people, I saw the sun and clouds of smoke traveling before my eyes, toxic dust, dirt and blood.

I lost consciousness, and when I woke up, I found myself in a laboratory, in a capsule. I was disconnected from the device and asked what I saw, I was silent for a very long time, and then I said: “I saw the day when dad experienced the most love, the day that I was destined to see in order to understand who he was and who I am.”

Bill Cunningham New York

by Elizaveta Gorbunova

I recently watched a film about a happy and wonderful man who does what he loves. He is a
photographer. This film is called “Bill Cunningham: New York”. The film premiered in the United States on March 16, 2011, and immediately received many positive reviews. This documentary was produced in America and directed by Richard Press. The director may not be as well-known, but this film is really worth watching. A lot of famous personalities in the field of fashion took part in “Bill Cunningham: New York”: Bill Cunningham himself, Anna Wintour, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Iris Apfel, Michael Kors and other influential people in fashion. This film tells the story of the life of the photographer Bill Cunningham: it was interesting to know how fashion and the ordinary well-dressed people of New York affect him, how to arrange photos to make them look more beautiful, how he entered the world of fashion and photography and what famous people associated with these areas think of him.

The direction of this film is great because thanks to Richard Press, you really immerse yourself in this pleasant atmosphere of the world of fashion and photography. Sometimes the filming style made you feel like you were right next to the participants of the film. Interviews with various people and Bill’s stories are done in such an easy and enjoyable manner that you really appreciate their speeches and wonderful stories. I never got bored for an hour and 24 minutes. This is not the kind of documentary that immediately comes to mind when we hear this word. This film is like just an emotional story about the life of a fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. In addition to the stories about Bill’s life, many of his photographs were shown, which helped to understand how talented this man is. The stories themselves caused only positive emotions, a smile, and sometimes even laughter. The only time I felt sad was when Bill said that he had never had an affair. This suggests that he was so carried away by his occupation that he did not need a relationship.

After watching this film, I became even more interested in fashion and photography. I think that this documentary is worth watching for people who want to be real fashion photographers in order to understand what it is. And it is also suitable for those who love these themes. I really like the film “Bill Cunningham: New York”.

Bill Cunningham New York

by Anya Babochenko

A photography Genius or a Regular Guy on a Bike?

 An older photographer who looks at women’s legs with special trepidation and drinks coffee for 3 bucks in one of the New York cafes. This is how Bill Cunningham appears to the viewer in the movie by Richard Press. From the first seconds, you fall in love with the hero, who smiles broadly and sincerely, childishly happy as Larry with everything that happens to him.

 In an interview, he says that he was born into a simple family of hard workers who were never connected with fashion and did not understand his fad. Bill moved to New York in the 40s and at first was engaged in making hats. Soon his main activity was street photography, but it’s not just pictures of models, he cannot be called paparazzi. Bill is a photographer of ordinary people. Sometimes he doesn’t even take pictures of faces, because for him the foremost thing is clothes. He is interested not only in evening dresses but also in shirts and sneakers. And it’s not that Bill doesn’t understand anything about “high fashion” and doesn’t like celebrities, it’s that Bill loves everything that people wear, regardless of their status.

 His life is not like that of a fashion photographer. Bill’s apartment, if I can call it that, is full of cabinets, and he sleeps on a mattress. He literally does not need all these luxurious conditions. Gosh, he doesn’t even have a kitchen! But he’s happy, you know? He is genuinely happy for people when their clothes help them feel confident and good. But despite this predilection for clothes, Bill dresses very simply. He rides around the city on his bike in a blue shirt with plenty of pockets to fit all his equipment. He works almost every day and he doesn’t get tired of it. Bill sincerely believes that to create a good photo, you need a camera and practice.

 If you still think that Bill works for money, then I will tell you that he does not even drink a glass of water at the event, arguing that it is necessary to keep a distance from what you do in order to be more objective. For Bill, “Liberty and freedom is the most expensive”

 At the very beginning, I already mentioned a smile and a laugh. Bill seems like a man who is always just elated and jolly. When he laughs, a pleasant shiver goes through the whole body, and the soul becomes warm and joyful. He does what he knows how to do better than anyone, and now, in his early 80s, he still continues to ride his bike in a blue shirt and take pictures of ordinary people in the centre of New York.

 It seems to me quite unimportant whether your profession or hobbies are related to fashion or photography. You need to watch this movie because it is about a happy and successful person who leads a very ordinary life. There will be no drama, intrigue and gossip, here will be a person who adores his work with absolute love and this brings happiness to this world. When I lose faith in a person or think that I don’t want to work with people anymore, I will review this film, because Bill makes me really overjoyed.

Bill Cunningham New York

by Sophie Kanakidi

If you’re looking for an inspiring and unique story from the life of a person, you’ve found it.

The documentary about Bill Cunningham, an American photographer, is essentially an example of the passion a person truly has when he is doing what he actually loves. What I really enjoyed was the way this documentary was shot because there were many vivid moments of Bill Cunningham, who used only his old bike to get from place to place, taking pictures of people’s outfits. To my mind, the director wanted to show us Bill from the most honest side he had, so that we would be able to see all intentions he worked for.

The film demonstrates how Bill turned fashion photography into his own cultural anthropology on the streets of New York. Nothing escaped his notice: not the fanny packs, not the Birkin bags, not the gingham shirts, not the fluorescent biker shorts. His friends and colleagues told him that the only thing Bill was focused on was his photography. Moreover, he never even shared about his private life, so he would not lose focus from his main goal. I noticed that he always was surrounded by diverse people, who had different styles, hair colours and social statuses. Bill gave attention mostly to clothes, not to persons, who owed them.

One of the moments that really reflects Bill’s personality was when he won an award, but couldn’t get comfortable with it, as he tried to shift the focus on other talented people. In other words, he wanted to find subjects, not be the subject. He wanted to observe, rather than be observed.

Personally, I rarely see this kind of people, who literally sacrifice their private life to devote themselves fully to the job they unconditionally love. Bill is the man who is completely free of pretension, a welcome and refreshing change of pace, a kind of throwback to a gentler, less harried era – and one of the most indelible characters to come from a documentary in a long time.

Bill Cunningham New York

by Anna Shornikova

A curios documentary about an 80-year-old street photographer shows the insides of his everyday life. Bill Cunningham New York is a 2010 American documentary film directed by Richard Press. The action revolves around a simple, unpretentious and ever-smiling Bill Cunningham, a person of outstanding talent, yet leading a modest life. 

The film illustrates the everyday routine of a street-fashion photographer as it is. Throughout the film, it becomes habitual to see Bill riding his bicycle and taking quick snaps of people on the crossroads. The plot doesn’t have an aim to tell the story of Bill Cunningham as a boring biography but reveals the life events through interviews with his models and Bill himself. There is no voiceover that narrates monotonously about the occurring events, but the dynamic music that complements the colourful life of the photographer. It unobtrusively shows the story of Bill, the significant and breaking points in his career through old photos and reminiscences. We follow Bill through his day in New York, see his interaction with his old friends, models and colleagues, see him working during formal events and fashion shows, chasing him down in Paris and accompany him while he chooses a new flat. The whole film is imbued with street-fashion photos, numerous old albums and memories of different people from the street that became famous because of Bill’s snapshots. An outgoing demeanour of Bill and an easy atmosphere wins one’s favour even if one is not interested in fashion shows and designer dresses. Whereas it is all about fashion, it goes beyond it and shows us a man that loves his work and sees no need for self-enrichment. The film caught a piece of New York’s life, showed the changes in trends and people’s tastes through Bill’s camera. And that is all about the ingenuity of Cunningham’s job, his precious talent to show and shape the street style.  

The documentary provides trustworthy historical information, supported by interviews and written records. The visual is also wisely chosen allowing the audience to see Bill as if in motion, without the stage effect. Interviews are very relaxed and sincere, always full of genuine smiles and affection for the starring photographer. It is evident that Bill is not a fan of attention, but is ready to share his outlook on life, his view on fashion and his work. And his humble opinion about himself is also proven by his behaviour during street photo sessions and work on formal parties and ceremonies. 

Watching this smiling gentleman, obsessed with his job, not wanting all the riches of the fashion world, you understand that it is one of the rare cases when a man is really happy in his work, lucky to find the path in life. It makes you cheerful and attached to Bill’s story. The whole film crew also couldn’t resist Bill’s charm as the documentary is filled with little jokes and humour, definitely not making the film tedious. 

There are a lot of wise thoughts and peculiar themes brought up in the documentary, but the viewer can see a clear message from the photographer. And as a concluding point, here is the quote from Bill Cunningham that describes subtly the purpose of his job: “Fashion is an armour to survive the everyday life.” 

Bill Cunningham New York

by Victoria

“Bill Cunningham New York” is a documentary movie directed by Richard Press. Released in the USA in 2010, it tells the story about Bill Cunningham – a famous photographer who was obsessed with fashion and did the job that he enjoyed and loved – took pictures of the clothes that New Yorkers wore on the streets. As it is a documentary film, instead of actors, real people who knew Bill participated in the film and gave interviews: designer Iris Apfel, fashion model Carmen Dell’Orefice, Patrick McDonald, philanthropist Annette de la Renta and many others. After watching this movie, you will know about the personality and the career of Bill, how he worked, how he lived and why people loved him. 

Bill Cunningham was a photographer who rode his bicycle and took pictures of what people were wearing. He didn’t just take photos of everything he saw, but only clothes that he liked and that attracted his attention. At first he was known as a designer of women’s hats, but then he started to do what made him famous. Bill wrote about fashion in Women’s Wear Daily and the Chicago Tribune and had some columns in the New York Times. He managed to capture the history of street fashion and how it has changed over the years and made a huge contribution to fashion journalism. Comparing to other people who worked in his sphere, some of his views on life were different: he could earn a lot of money and become rich and wealthy, but he didn’t do that and lived in an old, small apartment. He thought that “money is the cheapest thing” and “if you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do”. He was a nice and friendly person with a big smile on his face, he called his friends and familiar people “kids”, and people adored him for who he was and what he did. However, they didn’t know anything about his personal life since Bill didn’t talk too much.

To introduce Bill to the viewers, the director includes interviews with Bill himself and people who know him personally in the movie, shows his photographs, newspaper pages and scenes which depict how the photographer works, lives and talks. Personally, the storytelling was a little bit chaotic for me, and it seems that the movie doesn’t have a strict structure like other documentaries always have. By these words I mean that the information isn’t given in a chronological order. But, it doesn’t make it boring or confusing at all; people learn everything steadily and in a specific way, so they can understand Bill’s career and personality better.

As I have already mentioned before, there are no actors in the movies, and real people appear on the screen. In the film there are scenes where Bill and these people interact, and we see their real emotions: how they smile and laugh, how famous fashionistas, models and others adore his personality, how they look at him in a friendly way, with admiration and respect in their eyes.

The film starts and ends with the soundtrack. At the beginning, when Bill takes photos, the melody is funky, jazzy and energetic like the morning street of New York. I would say that it suits the fast tempo in which Bill usually works: if he sees clothes that he likes and he feels that the snapshot will be good, he takes it. On the contrary, the music at the end of the movie is peaceful, which can symbolize calm daily life of a person who likes what he does in life.

In general, I could say that the movie is worth watching, and you won’t notice how quickly time flies by. I recommend this film to those who are interested in fashion history (in people who contributed to it in particular) and who want to spend time not only in an interesting, but also in an informative way. To my mind, people who don’t prefer documentary films or don’t like fashion and photography will like it because it’s easy to watch. As it is historically accurate, you can watch this film to write an essay or make a presentation about Bill Cunningham.