Red Violin

Red Violin

4.8 44
Director: François Girard

Cast: François Girard, Samuel L. Jackson, Don McKellar, Carlo Cecchi

     
 

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Francois Girard directed this drama tracing the history of a musical instrument through five countries and three centuries. In 1681, to keep the spirit of his wife alive, an Italian paints the violin with a red varnish made from her blood. It is later found in the Austrian Alps when a prodigy gives a performance in the court of Vienna in 1792. Taken by gypsies, the… See more details below

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Overview

Francois Girard directed this drama tracing the history of a musical instrument through five countries and three centuries. In 1681, to keep the spirit of his wife alive, an Italian paints the violin with a red varnish made from her blood. It is later found in the Austrian Alps when a prodigy gives a performance in the court of Vienna in 1792. Taken by gypsies, the instrument is acquired by a Dionysian composer. After a journey by boat to China in 1966, it is hidden during the Cultural Revolution. In contemporary Canada, it is spotted at an auction house by a violin expert (Samuel L. Jackson) who becomes obsessed with it. Scripted by Girard and Don McKellar. Filmed on a $10 million budget in Montreal, China, Italy, Austria, and Oxford.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A universal yearning for beauty and perfection underpins the Red Violin, Francois Girard's ambitious, lyrical drama following the passage of a meticulously crafted violin from owner to owner. We see the instrument's painstaking creation in 1681 by master artisan Nicolo Bussotti (Carlo Cecchi), who intends it for his unborn son. Over a period of 300 years the violin acquires innumerable owners, traveling from rich to poor, from country to country, but always producing the same achingly beautiful music for those who most appreciate it. Bussotti's violin becomes legendary, and eventually comes under the covetous eye of connoisseur Charles Morritz (Samuel L. Jackson) in a surprisingly suspenseful climax. Girard uses the violin as a narrative device to link his vignettes, which offer trenchant observations on love, music, culture, politics, poverty, crime, and even death. A movie of unusual complexity, yet one animated by a simple theme, The Red Violin is an oddly affecting throwback to the elegant period dramas made by filmmakers many decades ago.
All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
A fascinating and intensely romantic film on the universality of the hunger for beauty, Francois Girard's film displays a taste for novel structures evinced in his previous work 32 Films About Glenn Gould. Using an auction in contemporary Montréal as a framing device, the film traces the path of the instrument from its creation in 17th century Cremona across the continents, as it touches the lives of a wildly diverse group of owners, not unlike Max Ophuls' La Ronde or Anthony Mann's Winchester '73. Jason Flemyng and Greta Scacchi are wonderful as a couple capable of making love while he plays the singular violin, as is Sylvia Chang in the harsh Shanghai segment. Samuel L. Jackson, cast against type, also excels as the violin connoisseur on hand to observe the auction. The sumptuous art direction of Francois Segin takes center stage echoing the work of the artists of the film's various eras, and is well served by the brilliant camerawork of Alain Dostie. In sum, the The Red Violin is yet another step in a directorial career well worth watching.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/03/2008
UPC:
0031398240808
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:10:00
Sales rank:
9,687

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary with co-writer/director François Girard and co-writer Don McKellar; "The Oscar - WInning Chaconne" featuring composer John Corigliano; "The Auction Block" depicting record-breaking violin auctions and the appeal of Stradivarius violins

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Samuel L. Jackson Charles Morritz
Don McKellar Evan Williams
Carlo Cecchi Nicolo Bussotti
Irene Grazioli Anna Bussotti
Jean-Luc Bideau Georges Poussin
Christoph Koncz Kaspar Weiss
Jason Flemyng Frederick Pope
Greta Scacchi Victoria Byrd
Sylvia Chang Xiang Pei
Liu Zi Feng Chou Yuan
Colm Feore Auctioneer
Monique Mercure Mme. Leroux

Technical Credits
François Girard Director,Screenwriter
Renee April Costumes/Costume Designer
Deirdre Bowen Casting
Jocelyn Caron Sound/Sound Designer
John Corigliano Score Composer
Jérôme Décarie Sound Editor
Alain Dostie Cinematographer
Niv Fichman Producer
Carole Gagnon Sound Editor
Gaetan Huot Editor
Daniel Iron Co-producer
David J. Webb Asst. Director
Jennifer Jonas Asst. Director
Claude La Haye Sound/Sound Designer
Don McKellar Screenwriter
Antoine Morin Sound Editor
Giannandrea Pecorelli Co-producer
Guy Pelletier Sound Editor
Jacques Plante Sound Editor
Marcel Pothier Sound/Sound Designer
François Séguin Production Designer
Hans Peter Strobl Sound/Sound Designer
Bernard Gariepy Strobl Sound/Sound Designer
Hans Peter Stroble Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Red Violin
1. Making a Masterpiece [6:16]
2. 5 Cards [3:16]
3. A Gift [4:02]
4. Not Well [6:13]
5. A Miracle [6:46]
6. Strong Heart [4:27]
7. Teaching Tools [3:54]
8. Making Music [5:02]
9. Play Your Best [7:12]
10. Travelling Treasure [4:47]
11. Personal Invitation [2:16]
12. Summoning the Music [7:36]
13. Come Back [3:17]
14. A Bullet Wound [4:46]
15. Abroad Travels [4:06]
16. Stopping the Music [7:39]
17. One Song [4:43]
18. An Invasion [4:25]
19. Beautiful Specimen [5:42]
20. Attention to Detail [3:01]
21. Nothing Special [7:02]
22. Perfect Marriage [3:34]
23. Blood Red [7:24]
24. Bringing Something Special [12:24]

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