Bennett Miller is in thrall to outsiders.
In the past decade or so he has directed Capote – Moneyball and Foxcatcher – three films focused on eccentric characters with idiosyncratic worldviews.
The filmmaker is on record as saying: ‘I don’t have a company.
I don’t have a staff.
I don’t own anything – I’ve never owned a car or an apartment’.
It is little wonder that Miller is drawn to unusual figures and his debut The Cruise (1998) is a documentary like no other.
Shot in black and white and opening with the sound of Gershwin – comparisons with Manhattan are inevitable but if anything the subject of this documentary is even more enamoured with New York than Woody Allen ever was.
Timothy ‘Speed’ Levitch is the David Foster Wallace of bus tour guides: intelligent – verbose and seemingly unable to switch off.
His tours – delivered at a frenetic pace – move far beyond mere landmarks and onto philosophical musings and existential dread.
During one particular tour he concludes a rant with the words ‘This is ludicrousness and this cannot last’.
There is a brief pause before he adds: ‘The new Ann Taylor store on the right’.