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04/15/2014 | Comments 0

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RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

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Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham New York

After documenting street fashion for 30 years, a photographer becomes the subject, in the documentary ‘Bill Cunningham New York.’

Rod Lott April 20th, 2011

Bill Cunningham New York
7:30 p.m. Thursday, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch, 236-3100

Some stories can only be told in the Big Apple, and the documentary on New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham is one of them. Anywhere else, an old man riding his bike up and down city blocks, stopping to take pictures of passing strangers — mostly women — would be badgered by police.

But in the city that never sleeps?

The guy’s nearly as much an icon as Lady Liberty. The proof is in “Bill Cunningham New York,” as amiable as its focus, screening Thursday through Sunday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art. There’s no colon in the title, suggesting the two are forever linked, if not one and the same.

For more than three decades, Cunningham has taken to the streets on his original, red Schwinn, documenting the clothes that catch his eye. Well, you or I think of them as clothes; he calls them “the armor to survive everyday life.”

The spry, 80-something shutterbug wears his camera like others do a tie, and still uses real film to shoot his subjects. As he tells us in the doc’s opening moments, “The best fashion show is always on the street — always has been, always will be.”

The guy’s nearly as much an icon as Lady Liberty.

Debuting director/cinematographer Richard Press does a marvelous job of showing Cunningham tirelessly at work — even when he’s greeted with a threat of “I’ll break that fucking camera!” — and the guy is always at work. He has never owned a television set; has no interest in food; and doesn’t see movies or listen to music. His job is literally his life, as evidenced by the miserly bed amid walls of file cabinets brimming with negatives and prints. As he puts it only half-jokingly, “Who the hell wants a kitchen and a bathroom?” Despite his longevity and profile, none of his colleagues and co-workers really knows anything about his personal life, if one exists at all. He’s such an enigma, audiences may grow skittish, wondering if Press’ profile of Cunningham will delve any deeper than surface level. (After all, both Press and producer Philip Gefter have worked with their star at the Times, so the doc isn’t purely objective.)

Have patience; in the final 10 minutes, the filmmaker finally gets him to sit still long enough actually to converse, and asks the questions that have nagged the viewer all the while. While Cunningham’s answers may not surprise, the moments are charged with palpable emotion.

“Bill Cunningham New York” bears resemblance to “The September Issue,” the 2009 documentary on Vogue editor Anna Wintour (who appears here), but the difference is this work is worth watching. Whereas Wintour has money and power, Cunningham has the personality.

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