La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano



From Giuseppe Tornatore, director of Cinema Paradiso (for which Philippe Noiret received the European Actor of the Year 1989 award), comes a remarkable fable about a boy raised on a steam ship who never once sets foot on the land. Tim Roth stars as "1900" who grows up during dozens of journeys across the sea, discovering that he can do absolutely anything he wants within the confines of the ship he calls home. Anything, that is, except be ordinary. On the very first day of the brand new century, a baby boy is found on the Virginian, a ship that ferries immigrants from Europe to the USA. Danny Boodman (Bill Nunn), a coal room worker, discovers the abandoned newborn in a lemon crate in the first-class cabin. Not wanting to give the child up, Danny raises him hidden in the great ship's belly. He christens the boy Danny Boodman T.D. Lemon 1900, but the boy becomes known simply as 1900. Knowing nothing of the world beyond the coal room and his porthole view of the sea, 1900 is devastated when his adopted father is fatally wounded in a terrible ship accident. His identity is revealed to the captain who threatens to expose him to the authorities. But 1900 saves himself when be wanders into first class and finds a shipboard piano - discovering he is a prodigy who can naturally play glorious, soulful music. 1900 stays on the ship, entertaining the world, 2.000 people at a time. Three decades later, a down-and-out jazzman named Max (Pruitt Taylor Vince), who is about to sell his beloved trumpet, discovers in a dusty English music shop the only remaining recording of 1900 playing the piano. Max is haunted by the sound, not only by its beauty, but because he knew 1900 years ago. Thrust backwards into dizzying memories, Max begs the shop owner to tell him how he came upon the "impossible" record. The shopkeeper cells Max that the recording was removed off a rusting ship scheduled for immediate demolition. This sets Max reeling. He is convinced that 1900, who was never willing to go ashore, still remains alive on board. Battling against time, Max rushes to the shipyard hoping to convince the demolition crew to hall their dynamiting. In a last ditch effort to save 1900's life and prove he exists. Max tells the story of how the recording that brought him to the shipyard came to be - the fairy-tale of 1900's miraculous rise to fame and disappearance from existence. Giuseppe Tornatore has taken a dramatic monologue written by Alessanrdo Baricco (author of the critically-acclaimed bestseller Silk) and woven a breathtakingly romantic story of fictional heroes and real-life legends, of the sea and the human soul into a fable about a new century and its unanchored dreams. Rife with 1900's musical inventiveness and the spirit of Jazz, the film features a score by Ennio Morricone, EFA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Giuseppe Tornatore

Written by: Giuseppe Tornatore

Produced by: Giuseppe Tornatore

Cinematography: Lajos Koltai

Original Score: Ennio Morricone

Cast: Pruitt Taylor Vince (Max), Bill Nunn (Danny Boodman), Clarence Williams III (Jelly Roll Morton), Tim Roth (Nineteen Hundred)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Cinematographer – Prix Carlo Di Palma 1999