Watch The Cruise
- 1 hr 16 min
The Cruise is a captivating documentary-style film from 1998 that chronicles the daily life and musings of Timothy 'Speed' Levitch, a tour bus guide in New York City. Directed by Bennett Miller, the film takes the viewers on a tour of the city, stopping at several landmarks and narrated by the enigmatic and hyper-philosophical Levitch.
The movie takes an unconventional approach to storytelling, with no interviews or narrative voiceovers. Instead, the audience is immersed in Levitch's world as he shares his unique take on New York City's architecture, history, and culture. Levitch is a self-proclaimed "anti-tour guide," and his unconventional style and philosophies are a refreshing take on the tourism industry.
Levitch is an engaging and charismatic figure who speaks with poetic conviction about everything from the city's buildings to its famous personalities. He's well-read, and his knowledge and passion for the city are evident throughout the film. As he regales passengers with his esoteric monologues, he draws on a rich tapestry of historical and cultural references to offer a unique perspective on the city that never sleeps.
Throughout The Cruise, Levitch reflects on the beauty of the city, its history, and its inhabitants. He speaks animatedly about the intricacies of the different neighborhoods, each with their own unique personalities, stories, and architecture. Levitch has a poetic sensibility and speaks in a stream-of-consciousness style that is fascinating, insightful and thought-provoking.
Another interesting element of the film is how Levitch often injects personal anecdotes into his monologues. He recounts his life journey, the trials and tribulations he has faced, and the lessons he has learned. His stories add a deep layer of authenticity and vulnerability to the film and help create a more intimate connection between the audience and the character.
The Cruise intentionally features a lack of transitions, with scenes abruptly jumping from one place to the next. In some instances, Levitch will speak about a historical event or location, then immediately jump to a vignette that is happening nearby, thereby infusing the film with a dynamic and vibrant energy that aligns with the pace of New York City.
The filmmaking contributes to the urban, energetic atmosphere itâs trying to convey. The low-res digital look of the movie lends itself well to the documentary style of the film. The cinematography captures the hustle and bustle of New York City and its many iconic landmarks. The editing is seamless, and the use of jump cuts and other fast-paced editing techniques compliments Levitch's manic, energetic persona.
The musical score is an eclectic mix of ambient sounds and indie rock, adding to the film's urban, contemporary feel. The film also features several wonderful jazz performances, further contributing to the atmosphere of the movie.
The Cruise is an unusual and distinctive film that offers a fresh perspective on New York City. Levitch serves as the perfect guide, with his seemingly endless knowledge and passionate delivery instantly drawing in the audience. The film is both insightful and entertaining, immersing us in the history, beauty, and complexity of the city. While it may not be a traditional film with a clear narrative, it is still an unforgettable and moving experience that captures the spirit of New York City.
The Cruise is a 1989 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 16 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 69.