Giuseppe Tornatore has a gift for creating timeless and extremely original films. Cinema Paradiso, perhaps his most well-known film, is a classic and is taught in film classes throughout the world. I recently saw his film "The Legend of 1900" about a man who was born, grew up, and lived his life aboard a cruise ship at the beginning of the twentieth century. I immediately fell in love with the story, visuals, acting, music, and just about everything else about it.
Tornatore has a unique talent and vision that incorporates a little bit of heartbreak, a lot of love, and extremely unique characters into his films and stories. "The Legend of 1900" combines a little bit of "Titanic" (for the setting) with "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (for the unique and pained characters) and creates this strange and tragic main character, 1900 (yes that is his name), who is completely captivating and commands the screen and our hearts. He remains separated by his bizzare situation that no viewer could ever completely relate to or have experienced themselves, just like in the strange circumstances surrounding Benjamin Button. There are parts of the characters that each of the viewers can understand or identify with, relate to, but there is a part of the character that is so deep and so unique that because of it, the viewer cannot completely understand the character nor do I think is really meant to.
Tornatore makes people care about the things that the characters care about. In 'Cinema Paradiso" he made us fall in love with film and the silver screen because that is what the characters loved, and in "The Legend of 1900" he makes us fall in love with music and the sea. We can take this bizarre story of a man who has never set foot on land and completely understand that mans motivations for doing so through the brilliant music (which won a Golden Globe for best original score in 2000) and by the amazing performance by Tim Roth. If you haven't seen this film, go out and rent it, netflix it (its on instant watch!!!), or do whatever you have to in order to see it. It was a captivating film and I hope everyone goes out and enjoys it.