Monday, September 27, 2010

The Legend of 1900 (1998)

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore. Cast:: Tim Roth, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Bill Nunn, Clarence Williams III. 120 min. Rated R. Drama. Italy.

I'm not sure this Tornatore flick works. The famed director's familiar elements of endless nostalgia pouring out of a source that is ruined by the end (in Cinema Paradiso the theater, in Malena the village lady) are again present here in the form of an ocean liner; but the character that embodies this nostalgia (Tim Roth, a pianist who's been in the ship since he was born) has some significant flaws, making the viewer confused: Is he a hero, or a loser? Some great musical sequences, but Roth's ending speech creates an anti-climax to the film, rather than a climax.

Mo says:


  1. I think the movie was beautiful and reminded me somehow “Titanic” and “Phantom of the opera”..again the movie showed us the miracle of music ! as you said, owing some unforgettable scenes like playing piano in the storm and when both actors and piano moving around and back and front in an exciting way or scene of music duel was another attractive scene…but same as you or more than you!I didn’t really figure out was he a real philosophic guy or a schizophrenic who insisted on burring all of his talent in that deserted ship! I was totally confused…. He said : what I didn’t see avoided me to get of the ship?... some kind of mysticism? I don't know.

  2. Spoiler alert!

    What bothered me at the end is exactly what you've pointed out: He didn't want to leave the ship ... because the possibilities of the outside world were endless? What kind of a loser says such thing? Very "un-cinematic", especially from a director who has brought us such cinematic dreams in "Cinema Paradiso" and "Malena".

    Regarding your rememberance of "Titanic": actually at the time when I heard this film was made (the same year as "Titanic"), I was wondering there was probably some kind of boat fetish going on in the movie world ...