Projections - Movie Reviews

The Red Violin

A journey of a valued violin from its production in Cremona, Italy in 1681 to the present shows how traditions are passed through the years in The Red Violin, an episodic film that evolves into a story of love and music, with the latter providing the most enjoyment.

Screenwriter and co-star Don McKellar has recruited Samuel L. Jackson to look closely into the history of this priceless instrument, which will be auctioned off.  Jackson describes four main stories surrounding this unique violin, with its eventful past from the 17th to the 20th century, as the international flavor will attract art house patrons following the magical musical gem from Italy to Austria to England and finally to China, as the last vignette sees a Communist official trying to prevent fanatical Maoists from destroying it.  In each tale, an overriding motif concerns the mystery of the violin which sometimes brings pain with it, even as orphans are prodded to play it by Austrian monks, and a British composer is involved in a heated affair that is oddly affected by the violin.

Despite the alluring presence of Greta Scacchi, who sensuously adds to the drama of the violin, the most compelling component of Francois Girard's award winning historical document is John Corigliano's strength of violin tensions that add an insightful moodiness with a light hearted fantasy that retains the haunted tones of a cursed, but valuable red violin.

The Red Violin

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