Tonight’s the night! I’m an avid reader (and watcher) of On the Street, who isn’t? So I’m looking forward to catching the documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, at Film Forum tonight. Playing through Tuesday, March 29, 2011.
ABOUT THE FILM
(from zeitgeist films)
“We all get dressed for Bill,” says Vogue editrix Anna Wintour. The “Bill” in question is 80+ New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” Documenting uptown fixtures (Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller—who all appear in the film out of their love for Bill), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. In turn, Bill Cunningham New York is a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace.
My weekend Netflix Instant Play Party continues!!!
HERB AND DOROTHY
Saturday started with Herb and Dorothy. A documentary that tells the story of a postal clerk and a librarian who managed, with very modest means, to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history. This is how it worked: Dorothy’s salary was for rent, bills, and food and Herb’s salary was for buying art. !!! They had two requirements when purchasing art: the piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. It’s such a fantastic story of the Vogal’s shared passion and commitment that redefined what it means to be an art collector. I wonder if I could build one of the most important collections of “something” on my salary? Hmmmm?
THE ART OF THE STEAL
Sunday I popped in The Art of the Steal. Another documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art. Barnes was an unusual collector. First, he displayed the collection in a way that expressed his own aesthetic vision rather than grouping canvases by artist or era as in a typical gallery. You might find a Picasso displayed next to an African mask. Second, he restricted attendance to the gallery because he was more concerned with educating serious students in his vision than reaching tourists. Third, he refused to loan paintings to other institutions.
Hurry and visit the Barnes collection in its original setting – at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania. It is scheduled to move to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2012.
So, who wants to organize a trip to Merion this summer?
Cast: Barry McGee, Ed Templeton, Mike Mills, Margaret Kilgallen, Geoff McFetridge, Jo Jackson, Chris Johansson, Harmony Korine, Shepard Fairey, Cheryl Dunn
Beautiful Losers is a feature documentary film celebrating the independent and D.I.Y. spirit that unified a loose-knit group of American artists who emerged from the underground youth subcultures of skateboarding, graffiti, punk rock and hip-hop. Over the last decade these artists and the subcultures they sprang from have become not only popular, but have sparked the most influential cultural movement of our generation. BEAUTIFUL LOSERS is a theatrical documentary film that explores the creative ethos behind this growing movement through a collective portrait of ten of these artists.