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.