50 Documentaries to See Before You Die

Bill Cunningham New York (2010)

Director: Richard Press

New York is as self-absorbed a city as they come. Just when you think you can't listen to one more New Yorker talk about what makes the place so fucking special, a film like Bill Cunningham New York comes out, forcing you acknowledge that something is different here. But it's different here because of the people-Bill Cunningham, a fashion photographer for the New York Times, being one of them.

Cunningham, in his trademark blue workman's coat, photographs people on the streets of Manhattan. He's a monk for fashion, and Richard Press' doc explores his ascetic lifestyle. He cares little for food, for his own dress, for his living space. He has few close relationships. It's at once awe-inspiring and deeply saddening, his devotion to beauty. You'll never think about integrity the same way again. You'll also never love New York as much. —RS

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