Speedology… Cruise with… … … …Speed Levitch…


Q. Who are you?
A. I certainly don’t have a dogmatic or even a clear answer to this question. I’m a tour guide by profession and a playwright by vocation. My religion is novelty and the universe’s continuous conservation and illumination of novelty is what makes me reverent. I love women.

Q. Where are you from?
A. I was created, built, and raised by Kansas Citians. Kansas City is my tribe’s headquarters and I have been, and continue to be, in a consistent ebb and flow in and out of Kansas City. Mostpeople, (e.e cummings invented the word ‘mostpeople’), upon hearing this factoid, immediately ask me, “You’re from Kansas City? Missouri or Kansas?” Well, of course, my favorite thing about Kansas City is that the state line that divides Kansas from Missouri is just another avenue of the city that fits into the grid plan of the city as easily and unnoticeably as any of the other major boulevards of the city. All day long, within the city limits of Kansas City, one may well pass between Missouri and Kansas several times without barely ever noticing it. Kansas City is, therefore, a capital city of boundary-disillusion; a place where the biggest border has almost no signifance or visibility throughout the average day. I love Kansas City because I hate categorization and the reflex that impels human beings to need categories; I love Kansas City because I prefer boundlessness to boundaries.

Q. How did you become a documentary subject?
A. I never thought of myself as a documentary subject; I’m a writer and performer…a monologist…all those who create and speak monologues appreciate and need a good editor. I certainly had amazing editors when it came to this film called “The Cruise” — but, it is not a documentary, it is the extemperaneous monologue of an extemperanoeous monologist. I got to meet the great French filmmaker, Jean Luc, once. Jean Luc was the man who invented the term and the form of filmmaking called “cinema verite.” In the one conversation I ever had with him, Luc told me that I was an author of, …”active, oxygenated literature.”


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I remember once in 1983, some friends and I drove downtown to visit the mainstay of the Kansas City skyline, which in those days was the Power and Light building. We rode the elevator to the top floor and discovered that there was no observation deck. We found ourselves in a non-descript lobby with no windows and only a door to the fire escape, but with no alarm. We wedged the drapes into the door latch to keep it from locking us out and climbed the last two flights outside the building to get to the top where we enjoyed the view, not as spectacular as many in Manhattan, but we were 18 and fresh out of high school and on top of our world. And though I didn’t know it at the time, it was one of the last cruises I’d make in Kansas City, one of the last times I drive around my town for the sake of driving and looking and seeing it for what it was and what I was too.

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