The Legend of 1900

A foundling grows up to become a piano virtuoso without ever leaving a transatlantic steamer in this painstakingly crafted nonrealist story, which doesn't seem to imply anything beyond what it depicts. A horn player who narrates in voice-over engages the pianist in wistful discussions that ought to be metaphorical but aren't. And the nearly incessant camera movement suggests only the literal: the ship's progress across the ocean. Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso, A Pure Formality) wrote and directed this 1998 film, based on a monologue by Alessandro Baricco; with Tim Roth, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Clarence Williams III. In Italian with subtitles. R, 160 min.

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