• 2007-04-02

    legend of 1900,a legend for ever


     A movie review of sorts:

       I guess I just have to write something.I just can’t help it. If memory serves me fine,it’s been a while since last time I felt compelled to do the same thing- can’t wait to gush,about the feelings that keep flooding my mind, and heart.   This time,it’s only after I watched the movie “legend of 1900”. A truly remarkable, profoundly touching piece of cinema. Well directed,the scences beautiful and emotion-laden, characters fully fleshed out and convincingly depicted. A job more than well done. Kudos to the crew and cast.   But I think the thing that really reaches and touches the innermost recess of my tender heart, is not just the movie,the art form ,the vehicle that serves to showcase, but rather what’s been told, what’s been showcased, what’s been revealed. In other words,It’s the story that does it.   I didn’t know much about the screenplay and the writer thing,nor that I cared. I just noticed at the beginning of the movie,when the billing came up one by one,the movie is based on a novel ,by a foreign writer.I mean he is a Non-American writer.Perhaps a Spaniard or French.So the immigrant perspective and sentiments pervasive in this story(and movie,thanks to the wonderful director,who is also a Non-American director,by the way) are very much real,and make for a truly cinematic as well as literary success, in terms of how many hearts it touches and moves. For there’s always something alien in this story, in the main character 1900,the seafaring pianist who refused to ever set foot on dry land,not even when the ship he was born and spent all his life on,Virginian,was about to be blown up to pieces.Not that only immigrants would be easily associated with such aberrations,it’s just that it would feel more right if it occurs with a foreigner, an immigrant who is destined to be at odds with a whole new culture that is seething beyond the board, beyond the beckoning Statue of Liberty.I just fear such a brilliangt, such a heart-breaking ,such a once-in-a-lifetime story would not be safe with a seasoned, sophisticated and native American screenwriter and director. There’s always something they just can’t get, that subtle vibe, that unique angle.Unless they are foreigners, they are immigrants, they see things differently,literally and figuratively.  So it’s a real good thing, for audience, and for the cinema history as well perhaps, that a foreign squad was assembled to get the story told in cinematic terms. Even The lead role,1900, was played by a “foreign” actor, Tim Roth, a Briton.

       I keep missing the point.I don’t know why.I have no idea why I keep avoiding coming to the point. The point of what’s in the story that grabbed my heart and squeezes my tear gland so damn hard.There’s no beating around the bush now I guess.


      It’s just me,I must confess. It’s the way 1900 lived his life, viewed his life, chose to end his life that really struck a chord with me.Because I can feel 1900, because in a way I’m him, I’m like living in a ship of life, just like him. I sympathise with him,with what he has gone through;I’m saddened by what he’s missed,what he’s been denied- life’s luxury,great love, a skyrocketing fame,given his stunning piano-playing skills;I truly relate to what he said at the end of the movie to Max, his only bosom friend onboard(and assumedly,on land too),the trumpet player, the words he whispered in his characteristically mellow voice,with an air of confidence and ease fit for a Shakespeare play monologue, with a light in the eyes that could still an enraged lion, the words that really tugged at my tender heartstrings.  I could only paraphrase.I may not be able to quote verbatim,but the gist is, life beyond the board is like a piano with infinite keys with it. A piano you can make no music on. A talented,nay,gifted player like him could only play(and alas,played so fantastically) on a piano with 88 keys. Once on land,he would find himself stranded, in the endless possibilities, infinite choices, and limitless temptations. He’d felt lost and he’d never be himself. He’d rather blow up with the ship. And he wished there’d be pianos in heaven.  All of a sudden,I just got it,why I’m so moved by this movie. I’m 1900 in life.Every word he said has long been whirling in my mind and waiting to be formed.1900 did it for me,before I ever existed. 


    Smart Walmart 2007-04-02


  • Hi Max

    Thank you for leaving your kind words here on my blog.I really appreciate your warm encouragement.

    I'd like to share with you some of the experiences I accumulated over the years about learning a foreign lanuage.TALK TO YOU SOON.

  • hi, I am Max ,chated with you on night of 4/16/2007 . leave some info about me for you, pls reply by mail, my mail is maxgong2003@hotmail.com, your all articles are great. I am your fans ,hehe.