On this, the day of the UK launch for the brilliant documentary on Bill Cunningham: Bill Cunningham New York - I thought I'd go back to my blog's infancy. On three years ago today, just around the Ides of March (another great film, btw), I posted this shot ('it's a bird'). I remember she didn't speak English - possibly French, she was very shy - so I didn't eve catch her name. And then this pigeon flew into the shot! That's when I was shooting in film, and only took one or two shots: I loved the serendipity of the moment. The accidents that happen.
I'm interested in seeing what holds up, over time. That's the distinction, for me, between following a trend and simply having a good sense of style. And I know that, like Bill, I am not an arbitrator of style (??), nor am I an industry insider, thank God! I'm just reporting the facts, ma'am, so please don't shoot the messenger.
There is so much in the film that I love, but especially, the idea that Bill knows he can't go out to chase a trend: the street talks to him, the trends reveal themselves. That's exactly my experience. It's a question of keeping one's eyes open, stilling one's mind, and carrying a camera. It's that simple. No, I take that back: it's simple, but it's also all consuming, and even doing it for a few years.. to spend a lifetime doing this, with the energy he does, is awe inspiring.
Those of you who know me know that Bill is the reason I started my blog. So I will be doing an homage to him over the next few weeks. I realise this is only a big deal in the UK: apparently America saw the film - was it a year ago? More? - and I don't know about other countries. But if you want to see cinema listings, go to: BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK. Very moving film: I'm tearing up just thinking about it.