homeless documentary: Miller's "Cruise"/Independent Film Fest FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sun, 19 Apr 1998 11:27:21 -0700 (PDT)

FWD  HollyWood News - Top Stories  April 15 1998

by Nina Davidson, Hollywood Online

LOS ANGELES - A love letter to New York City, "The Cruise" follows
unconventional tour guide Timothy Levitch on his double-decker bus through
the city's streets. Director Bennett Miller has lived in New York for all
of his 32 years, and finds a similar affection for the Big Apple, even with
all its worms.

"I think what I like most about New York City, it's a place where it's
impossible to have a firm bearing," he said. "It's complete chaos."

Bennett, a graduate of NYU Film School, met Levitch on a walking tour of
Grand Central Station. Levitch's flamboyant, erudite style intrigued the
filmmaker, and he decided to shoot a documentary of Levitch's life.

"I just found him compelling, naturally and meaningfully compelling to me,"
he said. "He represents something meaningful to me, his struggling to
remain passionate and alive in a culture that's become cynical and

A sensitive and complex portrait emerges of Levitch as the camera follows
him on his tours through the city. Although raised in the wealthy suburb of
Westchester, Levitch's estrangement from his parents leaves him homeless
and struggling to survive on his 20 hours a week as a tour guide.

Despite his rootless existence, Levitch finds time to philosophize on the
beauty of the Brooklyn Bridge, the transcendental roots of Central Park,
and the fascinating history of his adopted city.

Miller shot more than 100 hours of footage for the 76-minute documentary
over a one-year period. Distilling "The Cruise" to its essence proved a
challenge for the director.

"Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, I can't believe what's not
in there," he said. "There's some brilliant stuff in there that doesn't
have a place, that I couldn't incorporate gracefully into the structure."

"The Cruise" makes its world premiere at the Los Angeles Independent Film
Festival on Saturday, April 18 at 10:30 a.m. in the DGA 2 Theater. For
tickets, call 1-888-ETM-TIXS.


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