Musical peregrination through history beautifully told.
This is a 1998 Canadian drama film directed by François Girard.
It spans four centuries and five countries (Cremona, Italy 1681 -> Vienna, 1793 -> Oxford, late 1890s -> Shanghai, late 1960s -> Montréal, 1997) as it tells the story of a mysterious violin and its many owners.
Charles Morritz arrives in Montreal as an appraiser for the violins sent by the Chinese government.
Almost immediately, he notices the Red Violin and believes it may be the legendary last violin of Nicolò Bussotti.
He has a restorer perform some work on it, while sending samples of the varnish to a lab at the University of Montreal.
At the same time, he purchases a copy of the Red Violin from a private collection in London, the closest copy to the original available.
A wealthy concert violinist named Ruselsky samples some of the violins and spots the Red Violin and tries it out, though Morritz convinces him that it is not the actual Red Violin.
When the results of the varnish tests arrive, Morritz is shocked to learn that the violin's varnish contains human blood.
The film was inspired by one of the violins of Antonio Stradivari, the 1721 Red Mendelssohn, which features a unique red stripe on its top right side, but the notion of a red violin painted with the blood of the maker's wife is an invention of the director.
In any case it is a fascinating, gripping and thrilling film.
It is interesting to note: the screenplay was written FOR the musical caprices in score by American composer John Coriglione; a fact in origin reverse of music prop to the silent film, predating, and post use, composition in prop to the action in theme. Rarely, if ever, has a film been written to story the drama in the score itself, as is the Red Violin; caprices in movement cast in a restless violin, fated in birth, rent in curse, roam to rest, note - in requiem Anna's Theme, doubtlessly felt. Samuel Jackson keeps us grounded in the present, as the violin plays it's role in the parts played by Joshua Bell, who makes an appearance as the as the double ... you will know when you see what you hear, for yourself.
Interesting and rather unique tale about a special violin.
Truly a really great movie. A must see for all. A+ DVD
Le Violon Rouge (1998) 131 min. This is a film about the centuries-long journey of a violin from its creation in 1681 by Nicola Bissotti, to Germany to communist China treating us to the culture and ideologies of the locations visited. I prefered the stories in Italy and China but they all have something to offer. Samuel L. Jackson plays the role of one hired to restore the violin for sale at an auction; who becomes completely enthralled by the beauty fo the music that eminates from the instrument. The only reservation I had with the picture is how the violin made its way from one location to the other. Maybe the point of this was that music transcends the physical and cannot be transferred physically but emotionally. This is a well-made picture which won a well-dserved Oscar for Best Score in 2000.
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