In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as "the red violin," is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of "the red violin." Written by
Sean Gallagher <email@example.com>
Christoph Koncz (as Kaspar Weiss the orphan virtuoso) was only nine years old when featured in The Red Violin. He is an Austrian-Hungarian classical musician that became an internationally-renowned violinist and conductor. See more »
During the Red Guard struggle meeting in Shanghai, the leader says "There's nothing as beautiful as our traditional music" and then they throw the violin away saying "Put this down with the other 'great olds'!" In fact, the opposite was true during the Cultural Revolution: traditional Chinese music (such as the hu chin) was made illegal as one of the four "Great Olds" while western classical music was considered "bourgeois". Both styles of music were purged during the Maoist era; only Socialist slogan songs were allowed. See more »
What can you say about a film that covers three centuries, people from all stations of society, and several European countries and Canada. Ambitious is a good start. This film was very well crafted and at about one hundred forty minutes was too short for me. The story follows a red violin, an inanimate object, although at times it seemed alive to me, thru three centuries and the influences good and ill that it has on its possessors. It does ever seem to be owned. Each of its possessors lives a life of passion and turmoil. The violin's birth is during turmoil and during its life it buried, shot, and almost burned. The writing which includes this parallel between the violin and its possessor , five somewhat independent segments that mell and converge in the final scenes, and a story told by tarot cards make for an extremely unique experience. Add to that the musical score, scenery, the varied languages and cultures and you have a great offering. The performances were all strong, but I thought Jason Flemyng as Lord Frederick Pope stood out. To say his character was eccentric and maybe a little over the top is justifiable but I'm sure that was intended. English nobility has always been known for its idiosyncrasies. The ending has incongruous feel with the remainder of the film but is satisfactory and I can not suggest a better one. Great entertainment! Three and a half stars!!!
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