By Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 30, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

The Cruise

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Timothy ”Speed” Levitch, the singular subject of Bennett Miller’s inspired, inspiring documentary The Cruise, is the kind of New York City character for whom New York City was invented, and because of whom New York City will never be tamed, not even by Mayor Rudy Giuliani. For six years, Levitch — an eccentrically kempt fellow with no fixed home address — was a guide on a double-decker tour bus with a spiel that regularly ignored sight-seeing basics. A man on life’s margins with a philosophy that margins can’t contain, he sees New York existence as a cruise for enlightenment; everything that gets in the way (cops, Mom, streets laid out in a grid) is the ”anti-cruise.”

NYU film school grad Miller hit documentary gold when he met Levitch. But this marvelously structured, sensitively edited, deep and compassionate portrait (in atmospheric, made-for-Manhattan black and white) of one man hopscotching a fine line between verbal genius and psychological miswiring is Miller’s own jewel, the work of a gifted filmmaker. To quote Levitch’s highest compliment, it’s got ”style!” A

The Cruise

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