We’ll put it quite simply: Richard Press‘ documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” is one of the very best documentaries we’ve seen this year. Already ranked on our mid-2011 best-of-the-year list, the film follows longtime fashion icon and New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham who Sunday readers might know from his weekly “On The Street” column. Armed with nothing more than a camera and beat-up bicycle, Cunningham is the last of a one-of-a-kind breed, a man who prefers real people in real life to the runways and captures his subjects with a clear, sympathetic, uncynical and unironic eye. If the film passed you by, not to worry, as we’ve got a few DVD copies to give away to some lucky readers, but first, here’s the official synopsis:
“We all get dressed for Bill,” declares Vogue editrix Anna Wintour. The “Bill” in question is the New York Timesʼ Schwinn-riding, film-shooting, octogenarian photographer who pedals through Manhattan, obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends he spots emerging from sidewalks and high society soirées for his beloved Times Style section columns “On The Street” and “Evening Hours.” Documenting uptown fixtures, downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunninghamʼs enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair.
Bill also embodies contradictions happily and harmoniously: he lives a monk-like existence in the same Carnegie Hall studio at for fifty years, even as he chases his “exotic birds of paradise”: the fashionistas of New York. Filmmaker Richard Pressʼ debut film lets audiences ride alongside this living legend with gentle humor and grace.
To win yourself a copy of the movie, just email us your name, address and the answer to this question: What women’s magazine did Bill Cunningham once work for?
Update: Contest is closed, winners will be contacted via email.
Contest is open to U.S. residents only. “Bill Cunningham New York” hits stores on Tuesday, September 13th via Zeitgeist Films.