Speed Levitch's The Cruise
October 2, 2007 4:43 PM   Subscribe

The Cruise, director Bennett Miller's timeless portrait of New York City, free thinking and the 1990s as lived by Timothy "Speed" Levitch. In eleven beats on youtube: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur (25 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
as inspired by #mefi:
esch omg 11 looks like wtc
reunion lol <-- wtc, with a jew in between
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:52 PM on October 2, 2007

I don't understand.
posted by ColdChef at 5:09 PM on October 2, 2007

Speed II: Cruise Control.
posted by cillit bang at 5:12 PM on October 2, 2007

My favorite part: "When you are sitting in the middle of midtown Manhattan you are sitting amongst a 20th century invention. A city that grew up at an explosion, as an explosion. It is an explosion, an experiment. A system of test tubes gurgling, boiling out of control, a radioactive atom swirling. Civilization has never looked like this before. This is ludicrousness and this cannot last...the new Ann Taylor store on the right."
posted by ColdChef at 5:14 PM on October 2, 2007

(That quote is from Part 8 of 11)
posted by ColdChef at 5:17 PM on October 2, 2007

The Cruise [trailer] is a wonderful documentary.
posted by ericb at 5:20 PM on October 2, 2007

love this documentary
posted by pmbuko at 5:30 PM on October 2, 2007

I have the DVD for this. It is awesome and for the first few weeks we had it, I watched certain scenes ever and over for the sheer delight of this guy's delivery. The first part of the movie is the most fun, where his style of delivery is being established and he's talking about buildings and his relationship with the city, that sort of thing.

Plus you immediately realize that he would give the best bus tour possible. He had a certain rhythm.

You understand that he's a little quirky, but very smart and articulate, and it's only later that you get he's really quite crazy.

It gets a little dark in the last half, but Levitch never stop being at least interesting. And so much of the movie is both his and the director's weird little love note to the city. It's clear the relationship is dysfunctional but important.
posted by lackutrol at 5:34 PM on October 2, 2007

meant to add that my favorite part is his discussion of the grid plan.
posted by pmbuko at 5:38 PM on October 2, 2007

I love this movie. I love this man. I love New York, and once my friend realized I'd been seduced by the city's siren song, she sat me down and made me watch. Long Live Speed Levitch. And let's all hope that the city that created him won't lose its knack for creating glorious eccentric lunatic geniuses, since those are the people that make this city worth the trouble. Beware the antiCruise!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:39 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

Speed Levitch is also in a band called the Ongoing Wow, which I understand never rehearses, and members live in different cities.

One of the members is Jerm Pollet, who puts on one helluva live comedy/rock show and was a founding member of Mr. Sinus Theater (a live spinoff of Mystery Science Theater 3000, now replaced by Master Pancake).

Levitch's part in Waking Life fits into the film perfectly (it would be hard to not fit into that film actually), which feels like it's lifted directly from The Cruise.

So we have Speed Levitch and Thoth, two quirky New York characters about whom documentaries have been made. Who's next to make it on the blue?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:41 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

Saw this guy live in Austin during SxSw back in 2000 and he was undeniably entertaining.

He's childhood friends with this musician/comedian named Jerm Pollet and they've collaborated on a few projects before. Most notably "The Ongoing Wow," which has been heard by very people outside of Austin or NYC. He also wrote lyrics for a couple of the songs for Jerm's old punk band Missile Command including "Victory at Sea."

Speed can also be seen in Linklater's "Waking Life" and "Life From Shiva's Dance Floor," among others.
posted by motherfather at 5:41 PM on October 2, 2007

I got a special walking tour of NY from Speed for us freaks when I was in NY for the Laughing Squid goes to NY show.

He's as kooky as they come.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:53 PM on October 2, 2007

So we have Speed Levitch and Thoth.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints

Thoth actually started off in San Francisco, hitting all the outdoor fairs and BART stations. I asked why he moved, apparently tips were better in Central Park.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:58 PM on October 2, 2007

i had the pleasure of meeting Speed when he came and spoke to a class i was taking at Hunter some years back. I've seen him a few times since, just here and there round the city. I'm sure he does not remember me but always greets me heartily. Gotta love Speed.
posted by vrakatar at 6:00 PM on October 2, 2007

Does he still give tours? I'd come up to New York just for that.
posted by ColdChef at 6:07 PM on October 2, 2007

i think he gives walking tours on occasion. He's also the voice of Hoop on Adult Swim's Stroker and Hoop. He must have a website detailing his activities....
posted by vrakatar at 6:21 PM on October 2, 2007

alas. looks like he lives in sanfran now...
posted by vrakatar at 6:24 PM on October 2, 2007

I just bought and watched this last week. Incredible.

There is another documentary featuring 'Speed' that came out post-September, 11th.

Live from Shiva's Dance Floor

It's in the mail.
posted by ifthe21stcentury at 6:35 PM on October 2, 2007

It's great, but shorter.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:41 PM on October 2, 2007

Sunset Cruise.

I wish the rest of the movie was up... 1/2 of it just doesn't cut it IMO. Guess I will have to bust out my old VHS copy of it.
posted by Duncan at 6:45 PM on October 2, 2007

I love this movie and haven't thought of it in awhile.

The end is especially poingiant in hindsight.
posted by mai at 8:58 PM on October 2, 2007

His walking tours are pretty great, I would think especially for people who a wary of NYC. He pulls in so much from outside the city, gives it so much context, it can make the otherwise overwhelming city much less so.

It's a shame if he's moved to SanFran, well, good for SanFran. The one time I met him (a couple years ago on a walking tour of Central Park, he covering topics from the geology of NYC to the Ramble) we talked about how santized NYC was becoming and as a result less vibrant, and confining. Sweet guy and infinitely less crazy than I'd expected.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:38 AM on October 3, 2007

I have been curious how Speed's been doing post-9/11, since he lost his favorite recreational space in the city, and he strikes me as someone needing frequent release.
posted by Busithoth at 7:08 AM on October 3, 2007

He also published a really great book.
posted by theperfectcrime at 8:30 PM on October 3, 2007

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