I’d just like to take a minute to note that this is our 100th post at Act The Giddy Goat! What started as two Giddy Goats attempting to keep up a blog grew to six, with weekly posts! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and read our blog, and to those that followed us and support us through likes and comments. We appreciate it!
To continue my foreign movie selection I present to you The Legend of 1900.
Also known as: La leggenda del pianista sull’oceano (Italian), The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean.
This Italian drama is from 1998 and directed by Guiseppe Tornatore, it is his first English-language film. It stars Tim Roth, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Mélanie Thierry.
It was nominated for several awards worldwide and won several for its soundtrack.
Before we get started, take a look at the trailer – sorry for the quality, it’s the best I could find on YouTube!
1900 (played by Tim Roth) is a man born on a ship and left there to be found by coal-man from the boiler room who takes him in. 1900 has never set foot off the ship. He is a man too scared to go beyond the world he knows.
All his life he has lived on the ship and we meet him when he is in his late twenties. The story is narrated by Max Tooney, a musician who played with and befriended 1900. 1900 tells Max that the world outside is too big for his imagination and he doesn’t want to leave the ship.
Check out this scene of 1900 and Max during a storm while 1900 plays with the sea:
He learns about the latest music styles from passengers and his reputation as a pianist is so renowned that Jelly Roll Morton, of New Orleans jazz fame, on hearing of 1900’s skill comes aboard to challenge him to a piano duel.
If you’d like to watch the piano duel (it’s, in my opinion, amusing) you can check it out here:
Near the end of the film we see 1900 catch the glimpse of a woman who inspires him. However, he still can’t bring himself to leave the ship. It is that fear of the world that ends 1900. And I won’t spoil the ending for you!
And one more clip to round it off — here is 1900 being convinced to record a song, the only surviving piece of him and his music. It is here the tune becomes that expression of love as 1900 views the woman who has caught his eye.
I love this movie for a number of reasons — some might consider it a rather slow story, and some critics hate the ending, because 1900 remains unchanged. But I love the setting, and the fact that we don’t always overcome our fears. It’s got beautiful music, humorous moments and in the end it’s a story more so about Max, and his meeting of 1900 and what it meant to him.
It’s one worth checking out! It is in English so no subtitles needed!
If you have any other foreign movie suggestions, let me know!