Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIY Double Feature: FUNNY FACE & BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK

I want to recommend that you watch A MAN NAMED PEARL & BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, but two documentaries looks more like homework than Double Feature Fun, so I'll save Pearl for another time.  Though you'll get extra credit if you spend an evening with those two gents.  They just might change your life.

This DIY Double Feature is two films about fashion, but really about authenticity and artifice, art and commerce:  FUNNY FACE & BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK.

First watch FUNNY FACE.  Enjoy the color.  Absorb the style.  Take it for all it's worth.  Accept it for what it is.



Then watch BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, and be thoroughly charmed (and hopefully inspired).  Bill thinks the world would be dreary if everyone dressed like him, I think the world would be markedly better if everyone acted a bit like him.

Then buy me a drink and I'll reminisce about times I never lived and people I don't know.  Buy me two drinks and I'll start quoting Bill ("Who the hell wants a kitchen and a bath?"), and I'll rattle off evidence of the lack of soul in our society these days (starting with the Carnegie Hall hullabaloo), and then I'll chastise myself for being no better, and then I'll transition to talking about how I've wasted my life in all the ways that matter, and...  I don't recommend you ever buy me more than one drink. 



If you're allergic to musicals, skip FUNNY FACE and pair one of the following with BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK:
SEPTEMBER ISSUE
VALENTINO:  THE LAST EMPEROR
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (the Stanley Tucci film w/ Emily Blunt)

Looking at that list, it's clear to me that Bill beats all.  Grace Coddington (September Issue) is a distinguished also-ran.

Enjoy!



FUNNY FACE
Released: 1957
Director: Stanley Donen
Writer:  Leonard Gershe
Leads: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson
Plot summary and what not of FUNNY FACE @ Wikipedia

BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK
Released: 2010
Director:  Richard Press
Leads: Bill Cunningham
Plot summary and what not of BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK @ Wikipedia