‘We all get dressed for Bill.’

Over the weekend New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham died. As someone whose father bought the Sunday New York Times every weekend, Cunningham was a part of my life before I knew who he was.

When I moved to the East Village in 2000 I continued my father’s habit of buying the Times every Sunday. My girlfriend (now wife) loved fashion, so I’d always hand over the Fashion section to her which always had a grid of Cunningham’s fashion shots above the fold.

Jacob Bernstein did a great write-up on Cunningham:

Mr. Cunningham was such a singular presence in the city that, in 2009, he was designated a living landmark. And he was an easy one to spot, riding his bicycle through Midtown, where he did most of his field work: his bony-thin frame draped in his utilitarian blue French worker’s jacket, khaki pants and black sneakers (he himself was no one’s idea of a fashion plate), with his 35-millimeter camera slung around his neck, ever at the ready for the next fashion statement to come around the corner.

Nothing escaped his notice: not the fanny packs, not the Birkin bags, not the gingham shirts, not the fluorescent biker shorts.

In his nearly 40 years working for The Times, Mr. Cunningham snapped away at changing dress habits to chart the broader shift away from formality and toward something more diffuse and individualistic.

He was a unique man:

He didn’t go to the movies. He didn’t own a television. He ate breakfast nearly every day at the Stage Star Deli on West 55th Street, where a cup of coffee and a sausage, egg and cheese could be had, until very recently, for under $3. He lived until 2010 in a studio above Carnegie Hall amid rows and rows of file cabinets, where he kept all of his negatives. He slept on a single-size cot, showered in a shared bathroom and, when he was asked why he spent years ripping up checks from magazines like Details (which he helped Annie Flanders launch in 1982), he said: “Money’s the cheapest thing. Liberty and freedom is the most expensive.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend the the documentary, Bill Cunningham New York. I watched it a few years ago and loved it.

If you have Amazon Prime, it’s included in your subscription (hat tip, Jason Kottke).

Superman the Journalist

Interesting perspective on Superman by Khoi Vinh:

For Superman, particularly, I often wonder why the franchise’s many different regimes of comic book writers and film producers have continually overlooked what to me seems like an obvious opportunity for interesting stories: the idea that, of all the professions he could have chosen, Clark Kent decided to become a journalist. To me, the tension between the journalistic credo to solely observe and report, and having the god-like power to literally change the course of what gets reported is a fascinating one that has never been really explored. Superman hides in plain sight as a reporter clearly because he does not want to change the course of human history (beyond what’s possible for a human being working for a news organization is capable of); and yet his very existence theoretically alters mankind’s course forever. There’s a fantastic Superman movie to be filmed with Clark Kent’s life as a journalist at its center, one that could be serious and thoughtful but also one that could be genuinely fun and uplifting. Too bad nobody put me in charge of a Hollywood studio.

There’s no doubt Hollywood has become lazy as shit in the last decade with the amount of remakes they’ve made.

Obsessive Quentin

LOS ANGELES — When Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” is released in a special roadshow version (with overture, intermission and additional footage) on Dec. 25, it will represent a feat worthy of the heist in the director’s “Jackie Brown.”

The film is scheduled to open on 96 screens in the United States and four in Canada, all in 70-millimeter projection, a premium format associated with extravaganzas of the 1950s and 1960s.

Yet from a theatrical standpoint, the technology is nearly obsolete. Last year, “Interstellar” opened in 70 millimeter at only 11 comparable locations. There were only 16 in 2012 for “The Master,” which renewed interested in the format. No film has opened with 100 70-millimeter prints since 1992. According to the National Association of Theater Owners, 97 percent of the 40,000 screens in the United States now use digital projection.

Over a period of a year and a half, the Weinstein Company, which will distribute the film, arranged for old projectors to be procured, purchased and refurbished and new lenses to be made for theaters.

NYTimes: Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ Resurrects Nearly Obsolete Technology

Tarantino is so obsessive. I love it.

Ello Asty

Looks like there’s a Beastie Boys easter egg in Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

The Beastie Boys as we knew them ceased to exist in 2012 after Adam Yauch’s death from cancer, but their memory’s being kept alive in an unexpected, intergalactic fashion. Jedi Insider obtained a new Hasbro Black Series figurine of an alien X-wing pilot featured in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one named Ello Asty; his helmet has the phrase “born to ill” written on it in Aurebesh, the Star Wars series’ written language. If you’re a hip-hop fan, a few bells might be ringing in your brain: the Beasties’ 1986 debut was called Licensed to Ill, and they released Hello Nasty 12 years later.

How do you say ‘J.J. Fanboy’ in Bocce?

Never Say Never

Website vintage everyday reposted NME’s list of 14 Old School Sacred Movies That Should Never be Rebooted.

Included in the list are some of my favorite movies: Goodfellas, The Godfather and Annie Hall. Saying you can never remake these is bullshit.

It’s like saying you can never cover a song by Led Zeppelin or The Beatles. You can do it, but there’s a good chance you’re going to fall short of the original. It’s great when an artist gives the world a whole new perspective on something we’re very familiar with.

My problem with Hollywood isn’t the reboots per say, but the laziness of the reboots. The goal of the Hollywood machine isn’t to offer a fresh perspective and reinterpretation of an existing piece of art but simply to make a new copy. Maximum profit with minimal effort.

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