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The Cruise is a documentary unlike anything else. It is a thought-provoking, poetic, and hilarious portrait of a one-of-a kind New Yorker.

Follow Timothy “Speed” Levitch, the eccentric and poetic New York City tour guide with an encyclopedia-like knowledge of the city and its history as he guides us through the depths of his philosophical mind and his intimate relationship with the streets and architecture of Manhattan.

He sees New York City as a living, breathing and spiritual being in and of itself.

He cites Willy Wonka as one of his great inspirations on the tour route.

Some of my favorite Timothy “Speed” Levitch quotes from this documentary include:

“I have dedicated myself to the idiom ‘I don’t know’ and am in love with the frantic chaos of this limitless universe.”

“That’s life. Life. A circle wrought with destinations. People constantly jumping off the bus and jumping back onto the bus.”

“How many times did I have to ignore my father’s inability to emote? How we all ignore our fathers’ inabilities to emote in our presence?

How much air conditioning did I have to transcend and the comfort that goes along with it? The comfortable couches, the television, the magnitude of static that surrounds us?

How much daily fighting in-fighting, strategizing, evading, running did I have to for the ability to feel? For the ability to emote? For the simple moments when I feel actual passion?”

“Good view of commuters, running towards their destinations and from themselves.”

“If architecture is the history of all phallic emotion, the Empire State Building is utter catharsis and we are sitting in its silhouette.”

“The sun, another great New York City landmark… above you on the left.”

“Civilization is breathing down our necks. Splitting us apart. We are wreckage with beating hearts. Civilization is a can of hairspray, spraying for the season-less vain into a hairnet made up of curls only ever meant to be waves…. Civilization knew who you were before you were ever born. Forgave when you thought you needed forgiving, and you never once surprised this civilization and you never once felt that sensation.”

“You know, I wanna look at a flower and appreciate the beauty of the flower, for instance. Somebody else might say you can look at the flower and become the flower, isn’t that even better? But then I further would love it if, on the cruise, if I could look at the flower, appreciate the beauty of the flower, and have the flower appreciate the beauty of me. That’s how I feel about cruising right now….

Yes, I mean becoming the flower would be a lot of fun. I could do that on Wednesday afternoon, I think I’m free on Thursday afternoon I could try to become the flower. But come the weekend, goddammit, I will appreciate the beauty of the flower, and then likewise I will stand exhibitionistic and have the flower appreciate the beauty of me. And I think having an intimate quote-unquote love affair with a flower is far more psychotic and riveting than having a love affair quote-unquote with some of the banal creatures of the human race…. Although I’d be into that too.”

The Cruise is a great watch for anyone that commutes to work, as “The Cruise” is Levitch’s proprietary philosophical outlook on how to “cruise” through life and take everything in stride, wonder, and curiosity.

Also a great watch for anyone interested in New York City, its history or architecture, or many famous residents.

The Cruise (1998) Documentary | 1h 16min | 23 October 1998 (USA) 7.7
Director: Bennett MillerStars: Timothy 'Speed' LevitchSummary: Affectionate portrait of Tim "Speed" Levitch, a tour guide for Manhattan's Gray Line double-decker buses. He talks fast, is in love with the city, and dispenses historical facts, architectural analysis, and philosophical musings in equal measures. He's reflective and funny about cruising: he loves it, got in it to meet women, and he'd quit work if he could. His personal life is disclosed in small doses: he takes home $200 a week for 20 hours work, home is his suitcase and wherever he can flop, he's been arrested for going out on the roof tops of skyscrapers to see his city; he stands between the towers of the World Trade Center, spins until he's dizzy, then looks up. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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