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Product Overview

A layered protrait of timothy 'speed' levitch and his tempestuous love affair with nyc. Atop double-decker buses, his tours exhibit a peculiar intimacy with the city's architectural feats and historical and artistic lineage. Each tour he leads more unsuspecting tourists into the individuality the city represents


Studio Lions Gate
SKU 202216415
UPC 012236186137
UPC 14 00012236186137
Format DVD
Release Date 3/7/2006
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Name Levitch,Timothy
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Bennett Miller - Director
Bennett Miller - Cinematographer
David Cohen - Executive Producer
Marty Beller - Original Music By
Michael Levine - Editor
Theodore Miller - Executive Producer
Timothy Levitch - Featuring
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "Right now you are 6-1/2 blocks from where Thomas Paine died!" Timothy "Speed" Levitch announces breathlessly. The necks of the tourists on the Gray Line bus swivel uncertainly. Where are they supposed to be looking? "O. Henry lived and wrote near here! You are five blocks from where Dorothy Parker wrestled with alcoholism, and failed!" It is like taking a virtual bus tour. You are here and the sights are there. Levitch never pauses for breath, rattling ahead in his adenoidal voice: "There are 2.4 million people in Manhattan!" He adds beneath his breath, "I heard 1.7 the other day, but I don't care." This is Manhattan's most famous tour bus guide, a man for whom the island is not just the backdrop to his needs and dreams, but their very embodiment: "The anger, the inferiority that some of the smaller buildings feel--I feel." Tourists from Omaha, Altoona and Cincinnati blink their eyes uncertainly as he tells him how close they are at this very moment to the Greenwich Village home of the poet e.e. cummings. He may be moving too fast for them, but maybe not: "I expect the total transformation of their lives the moment they get on the bus." Speed Levitch is the star and subject of "The Cruise," a loopy documentary about a man who literally lives by his wits. Levitch is a 1992 college graduate who has lived in Manhattan ever since, without ever having a permanent home. He sleeps over at the houses of friends and depends on the kindnesses of strangers. He calls it "couch surfing." He made $9 an hour plus tips from the Gray Line, better than the $7 paid by Big Apple tours, but still he is winsome: "Big Apple was `Spartacus.' Gray Line is `Willy Wonka.' " His tendency to personalize inanimate objects reaches an apex when he gazes up at an early skyscraper and suggests that a terra-cotta frieze is the structure's orgasm. I get letters from people who would like to make a movie. My advice could be, find a subject like Speed Levitch and follow him around with a video camera. That's what Bennett Miller did--directing, producing and photographing "The Cruise." Levitch (who has now retired and gives private tours) became a legend in the New York bus tour universe in the mid-1990s; customers, far from being confused by his curious rants, recommended his tours to one another. That makes a kind of sense. You can see buildings anywhere, but Levitch is the kind of sight perhaps only New York could engender. "I went to double-decker buses to meet and seduce women," he says. It didn't work (maybe because of homelessness, a Goodwill wardrobe and a flat-footed duckwalk?). Now he sees that "every double-decker loop is a loop toward my death." He's not just a cheerful clown; there's a strange dark undertow that we sense beneath lines like, "Eleven people have jumped off this bridge and survived. One of my cruising dreams would be to get those people together on a cruise." Around and around the city he cruises by land, driven mad by the repetition of the spiel, but not a
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
Product Attributes
Actor Levitch,Timothy
Label Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Christopher Null, As good as documentary film gets.
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times A brilliant, ultra-intense poetic soul.
Mark J. Huisman, Village Voice The guy Woody Allen can only dream of being.
Tom Meek, Film Threat The Cruise is deftly provocative.
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