One of the most powerful players in the New York fashion scene doesn’t hit the red carpet or appear on TV. He’s 80-year-old Bill Cunningham, who takes to the streets every day on his rickety old bike dressed in a duct-taped poncho to seek out the best in style for Sunday’s On the Street column in the New York Times. Director Richard Press follows Cunningham—indisputably one of the most adorable stereotypes of an elderly New Yorker you’ll ever meet—as he snaps women’s shoes and society galas, crankily lays out his pages and the “websites and nonsense” with the “kids” at the Times, and fights to keep his historic apartment in Carnegie Hall. But above all the film reveals Cunningham’s dogged creative integrity. He worked for Details magazine for years without pay so he could maintain total artistic freedom, and he won’t accept even a drink at the events he covers because he believes it would compromise his objectivity. Press hesitatingly reveals his subject’s solitude. Even though everyone knows Cunningham, no one really knows him, though the drag queens and society women Cunningham shoots are happy to speculate on his personal life. Even Vogue editor Anna Wintour, in a rare moment of warmth, says, “We all get dressed for Bill.”
At 4 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 3; also on Wednesday, June 23, at 2 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 1.