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Sam Henry Kass
Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini,
I've seen this movie at the Zurich Film Festival in 2009 where they premiered the Director's Cut, an almost completely re-cut, rewritten version with new dialogs and a (probably) new soundtrack. I went to see it as a fan of Yello, the band where Meier sings. This film might be his longest project, as it started in 1988. He is the director, producer, writer, actor, and Yello made the music, too. Most of the cast are from Poland and the movie was shot in the early 90's. You can see parts of the film in Yello's music video "Tremendous Pain" (from the 1994 album Zebra).
It is a fantasy tale about a magical violin and a talented violinist who is lured into an underground world following a beautiful woman. Then he has to play the violin to light a big crystal ball that gives energy to that world, a world full of strange people in strange costumes. At first the movie made sense but after an hour most of its artistic merits turned into boredom. The constant changing of the film through the years, the fact they recorded many dialogs again - the lip sync was visible many times - didn't help enough. I think it became easier to understand the story than in 2001, when it was shown in Berlin, but it's still difficult to follow (partly because the sound of the dialogs were bad and they whispered a lot).
The new music was nice, but little. It had some recent Yello tunes, even a completely new song in the end, but I found it strange they didn't make the music more articular while it's a central part of the story. The violin solos were great though. There was much effort put in this film, that's for sure, and the persistence in making it is respectable. I personally think it would have been better to start over the project than dragging it for so long. I could imagine this story as a visually stunning anime with lots of music instead of the old costumes and 80's-style special effects. It was very interesting and original but failed to entertain.
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