“If this were play’d upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.” So says Fabian in Twelfth Night, going all meta on us.
Bill Cunningham New York is a documentary, but if Bill Cunningham were a character in a novel, critics would condemn him as an improbable fiction. Who could come up with the idea of an 80-year-old guy who lives in a tiny apartment without a bathroom or a kitchen, pedaling around New York taking photos of the fashion of the moment for publication in the New York Times? Beloved by everyone who knows him, he’s never had a girlfriend or a boyfriend. He lives only for clothes, a humble monk in the religion of Fashion, but he himself wears the same serviceable outfit day in and day out. At Fashion Week in Paris, there is some trouble with his credentials; finally a man appears out of nowhere and escorts him in, saying, “You don’t understand. This is the most important person in the world.”
J.B.S. Haldane said “the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” The same is true of human beings, I suspect.