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Cruise
     

The Cruise

Director: Bennett Miller, Timothy (Speed) Levitch

Cast: Bennett Miller, Timothy (Speed) Levitch

 
This black-and-white low-budget documentary focuses on garrulous guide Timothy "Speed" Levitch, who talks to tourists traveling on the Gray Line's double-decker Manhattan tour buses. Getting to the core of the Big Apple, the loquacious Levitch is a font of factoids, noting the residences of such past famed figures as Henry Miller, Thomas Paine, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark

Overview

This black-and-white low-budget documentary focuses on garrulous guide Timothy "Speed" Levitch, who talks to tourists traveling on the Gray Line's double-decker Manhattan tour buses. Getting to the core of the Big Apple, the loquacious Levitch is a font of factoids, noting the residences of such past famed figures as Henry Miller, Thomas Paine, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, John Reed, and Edith Wharton) as he delivers diatribes, spouts quotes, and offers opinions, revealing his love-hate relationship with New York City. Shot in video with a blow-up to 35mm, The Cruise was shown at the 1998 L.A. Independent Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A whirling dervish of eccentricity, vocabulary and avant-garde performance art, Timothy "Speed" Levitch makes as interesting a documentary subject as you'll find among people without any particular fame or noteworthy skill. "Poet-philosopher" is too ordinary a term for the star of Bennett Miller's The Cruise, a bespectacled New York tour guide with shaggy hair and an intellectually effeminate voice. Words may not encapsulate Levitch accurately, but they're his most indispensable tool. Possibly as many as 10,000 spill forth from him in a steady 76-minute flow of tortured paranoia and improvisational brilliance. Showing adherence to neither his job description nor any sense of conventionality, Levitch spews arcane tidbits from the open top of his Gray Line bus as it circles Manhattan. He refers to this as "the cruise," which doubles as a metaphor for his own life. As Levitch describes which cultural icons died where, intermingling his personal observations with literary quotations (and always providing attribution), his demented sound bites are forever punctuated by the snapping on and off of his handheld intercom. Yet as purposefully off-the-wall as this self-stylized Big Apple ambassador is, he has moments of true lucidity. Some unsuspecting tourists who soak up his reckless monologues doubtless wonder if this is typical tour guide behavior, but in a terrific feat of editing and shot selection, Miller also pinpoints the man's unlikely ability to relate with bus drivers and other common folks. Miller has coaxed a terrific highlight reel from Levitch, who attributes emotions to plants and stone edifices, rants about the city and his acquaintances, and alternates between mania and despair. Whether it's shtick or his real persona almost doesn't matter. What emerges is a vibrant, award-winning black and white portrait of a city, which doubles as a love song from its most enthusiastic troubadour.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/07/2006
UPC:
0012236186137
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:16:00
Sales rank:
47,720

Special Features

Closed Caption

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Cruise
1. Credits [3:35]
2. Greenwich Village [3:10]
3. Living Organism [5:56]
4. Architecture [2:17]
5. Central Park [3:31]
6. Being Alive [6:10]
7. Empire State Bldg. [11:31]
8. Introspective [10:35]
9. Court House [9:22]
10. Brooklyn Bridge [7:23]
11. The Equilibrium [6:04]
12. My Life [6:40]

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