8:00 PM, 30th June, 2001
In the nineteen twenties, Django Rheinehardt was considered the greatest jazz guitarist in the world. This is the story of the second greatest jazz guitarist in the world, as told by a fair few modern experts. For those of you who like the nineteen-twenties-ish jazz that Woody Allen peppers most of his movies with, this is a real treat. And, whether remastered old recordings, or freshly performed for this film, it's all damn good stuff - treated with the respect it deserves. Oh, and the performances are, as usual, excellent.
9:45 PM, 30th June, 2001
The Legend of 1900 is Tornatore's best and most accessible film since his Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso. It is a magical, allegorical tale of a world-class pianist whose entire life is spent on board a trans-Atlantic cruise liner. Named for the year of his birth by the ship's furnace worker (Nunn) who found him as baby, Nineteen Hundred (Roth) lives a life of both superhuman joys and desperate pains. Told through the memories of Max (Vince), a journeyman trumpeter who became Nineteen Hundred's closest friend, an enigmatic portrait of the pianist emerges. The flashback structure is inefficient, and indeed gets in the way of the main storyline, that of Nineteen Hundred. Even more frustrating is the fact that the present-day narration scenes pop up just when you've gotten into the groove of the early sequences. Nonetheless the gorgeous cinematography, delightful musical score and skillful direction by Tornatore, make this an enjoyable, mythical film.