Never fade away

It’s just a surprise that you could find a fim you have longed to see in Netflix. I saw the <Bill Cunningham New York> poster last year in Claremont cinema center, and that time I was eager to see it, however, due to various reasons, I was able to see it today. Anyway, it was a fantastic documentary film, which could be added to my favourite list.

Though I am kind of addicted to fashion, love seeing those street snaps all day, I didn’t know Bill Cunningham at all. Or to say, I just didn’t believe such an old man could do fashion stuff before. Nevertheless, after seeing his photographs in the film, I was shocked to see great street snaps photographed by traditional camera rather than digital one. He could always trap every one’s dressing spotlight in a second, with his own criterion, and because he is an kind old man, compared to those fashion young people, he was capable of getting more chances to shoot those celebrities and passengers. Most importantly, he treats all the people the same, regardless of gender,race,profession,fame. What he concentrates on is only fashion, such dedication to the profession makes me feel moved and inspired.

In the second edition of <Visual Culture Reader>, where the definition of visual culture is mentioned, Visual culture is a tactic for those who don’t control such dominant means of visual production to negotiate the hypervisuality of everyday life in a digitized global culture, describing the works of Bill accurately. His persistence of working everyday helps him gain attentions, even he doesn’t control dominant means of visual production, he just used his camera, recording fashion through his eyes, visual culture to him is just a habit rather than a tactic, through which he could feel sense of satisfication and achievement.(There could be my misunderstanding for the dominant means of visual production..he works for NYTimes, so he is kind of dominating themeans of visual production)

However,His works enabled me to link the theory of  the theory of sign. The snap shots Bill took are surely the signiers, while the signs could change since I have seen the movie, getting knowledge of Bill’s figure and life, before I probably just treated them as nice fashion snaps, but after the movie I appreciated them with admiration, thus the signs changes, so do the sigified.

The documentary inevitably interviewed several people who had been frequently shooted by Bill, including Patrick, a dandy style lover, Anna, Vogue Chief Editor…From their words I got to understand more of Bill, which is kind of related to double consciousness. It is true that he just describes himself in a happy and modest tone, explaining he is just doing what he likes, while ther people could find his preciousness in today’s world. In this perspective, double conciousness contributes to my completeness of knowing.

In the end of the film, I just burst out teas. The ending music reminds me of many scenarios, when Bill said” Money is the most cheap, freedom is the most expensive”, where he lived was a tiny space surrounded with all his file folders and a bed, when he rides his bicycle without taking photographs of people, when he feel satisfied when eating a small humburger and a coffee…He works for his whole life, without getting married even dating, but that’s the way every one should be aware of : What’s my dedicated work? and what kind of life I really want? In China, too many people just put their dreams on the next generation, never realizing that they need to strive until their death, which results in a pathetic cycle, their kids just put their dreams again on their kids.What a horrible phenomena lasting many years. So in a level, I admire people in the United States could pursue their dreams without caring other’s perceptions too much, living for true self. Hopes that Chinese parents could learn more and try to understand their situation, so as to fulfil themselves as well as liberating their kids.

Again, a fantastic movie worth watching, highly recommend!Bill’s influences will never fade away.


2 responses to “Never fade away

  1. great start! While Bill Cunningham doesn’t control the means of production, he does work for the NYTs that does. How does this figure in understanding his work within visual culture?

    PS: can you make your RSS feed work? thanks!

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