The monologue by Alessandro Baricco is actually called, in the French translation Françoise Brun gave for Gallimard “Novecento: pianist. A monologue”.
On January 1, 1900, Danny Boodman, who worked on the machines of the luxury liner “Virginian”, discovered a newborn baby in the ballroom. He adopted the little boy and baptized him Danny Boodmann T.D. Lemon Novecento (1900). The child growed up in the bowels of the ship, never setting foot on land. On the death of his adoptive father, and while he was still only a child, 1900 was taken care of by the crew, including several musicians who run the cruises. 1900 ended up revealing an extraordinary talent for improvisation on the piano.
From this work, Giuseppe Tornatore made in 1998 a lovely film with the almost eponymous title: “The legend of the pianist on the ocean”. He shot it in English in Rome, in the legendary Cinecitta studios, and in Ukraine. We obviously find there all the poetry and subtlety of the director of Cinema Paradiso, the music of Ennio Morricone further adding to the magic of the moment.
Tim Tooney, the somewhat lost trumpeter friend of the monologue becomes, played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, Max Tooney, with an intact talent for telling a beautiful story than that of the monologue.
As for Tim Roth, the interpreter of 1900, he embodies the character with an incredible elegance, in a role at the antipodes of his usual register: moving, accessible, one feels that a particular alchemy has acted between the director and his first role …
I’m not a movie critic: when I talk about cinema on this blog, it’s just because I loved it! …
Until the beginning of November, we can (re) discover this little gem on Replay Arte French TV! (what I did on Sunday evening !…)
Iconography: Tim Roth in “The legend of the pianist on the ocean, Italian film from 1998, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore