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Red Violin [Import]

Carlo Cecchi , Jean-Luc Bideau , François Girard    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 36.95
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Red Violin [Import] + Amadeus (Bilingual) + Immortal Beloved (Deluxe Edition)
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Product Description


Mounted in high lavish style, from the opening strains to coda, The Red Violin pays homage to the careful uses of color and composition without bothering to support these qualities with any real substance. Oh, it's a class act on the surface all the way, while failing on nearly every other level to convince. The story tells the story, revealing precious little else. The 17th-century Cremonese instrument-maker Niccolo Bussotti finishes his final violin with a curious red varnish, the secret of which spans the film, yet will come as a surprise only to the very sleepy. The odd voyage of this unique violin through history is then explored from one episode to the next, from child prodigy to gypsies to Victorian virtuoso to a clandestine enclave of art lovers in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. This is all framed by the violin's rediscovery in present day by instrument appraiser Charles Morritz (Samuel L. Jackson), for whom the perfect instrument strikes a resonant chord. The main scheme of the film, an object connecting a number of seemingly disparate stories, has been used many times, most notably in Max Ophuls's La Ronde. But while this approach is employed elsewhere to cause one scene to reverberate against another, The Red Violin is content to leave each episode thematically unconnected with any of the others. On the decorative level, the film may satisfy many viewers with its sensuous attention to tone and detail, as well as its eclectic and expertly performed score. But as narrative it is very slight. Just pierce the pretty crust of this puff pastry and gaze in wonder at the pocket of air within. --Jim Gay

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The Red Violin

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"Cinque carte" -- five tarot cards servant Cesca (Anita Laurenzi) makes her mistress Anna Busotti (Irene Grazioli) draw in 17th century Cremona when Anna, wife of the legendary violin maker Niccolò Busotti (Carlo Cecchi), asks her servant to tell her and her unborn child's future. And those five cards, along with an auction in 20th century Montreal, provide the framework for the tale that is about to unfold: The Moon -- a long life, full and rich, and a long voyage. But there is a curse over her, Cesca tells her mistress as she turns the second card; there is danger to all who are under her thrall, and there will be many ... indeed, the Hanged Man is a powerful card! Then there will be a time of lust and energy, her Lazarus soul will travel across mountains, oceans and time, and she will meet a handsome and intelligent man who will seduce her with his talents "and worse" -- in short, the Devil. The fourth card Anna has drawn is Justice: There will be a big trial before a powerful magistrate, Cesca tells her; she will be found guilty ... "beware the heat of the fire!" And indeed, the last card that Anna turns, much to her alarm, is Death -- but the card is upside down and Cesca tells her not to worry because at this point this might be good news: She will be carried by the air and furious wind, but then her voyage will come to an end, "one way or another." There is "trouble" in this, Cesca says, "but you are strong now, like a tree in a forest." She will also not be alone; the servant sees a crowd of faces ... friends, family, enemies, lovers and a lot of admirers fighting to win her hand (lots of money, too) -- and ultimately, a rebirth. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie but disappointing transfer April 24 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Yes, the picture and sound are better than the DVD, but neither are as good as they might have been. This is a typical Alliance Blu-ray which is not a compliment. The DVD had full English subtitles throughout and there was no reason to miss these off on this disc. The music sounds fine but the dialogue is nothing special and it would have been a great help, especially to the millions who are hearing impaired, to have had the subtitles, especially as they are listed on the subtitle menu, which then helpfully informs you they cannot be accessed as part of the disc design! English comprises about a third of the dialoge and has no subtitles. The other languages are well subtitled in English. There is a French dub for all languages without subtitles. Like most of the Alliance Canada Blu-rays this is bare bones. Hopefully a better release will appear somewhere else eventually. If you are not troubled by the subtitling and limited language options then this a better disc than the DVD but with just a little more care it could have been a lot better
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't analyze it, just watch it for what it is. July 15 2004
While I find this movie captivating to watch, and wonderfully done, the story does have a multitude of holes in it. The most glaring probably is how an instrument that spends most of it's life in such ordinary circumstance or in relative hiding becomes the sought after holy grail of a modern auction house. The instrument is really only in a position of high profile lime light once in the story that is documented in the film. The rest of the time it spends as a fairly generic piece being passed around to children in an orphanage, roaming the countryside with gypsies, in a pawn shop or hidden from authorities. This doesn't seem like a likely life of an instrument that would be known by and sought after above all others by what is portrayed as the foremost experts in their field. Even the bidders in the auction seem to only have interest in it from a sentimental value and not for the perfection that the modern auctioneer values it for.
The movie is however, almost hypnotically watchable and it is hard for me even to deprive it of the single star I have. On one side the movie appeals because of the intellectually complex plot, but by the same token fails because the holes in that plot seem like they would be obvious to the same group that would be drawn to the film. This is this films paradox. All in all a very entertaining film that you have to remember not to analyze.
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Having once been genuinely passionate about the violin myself, I figured that, at the very least, Francois Girard's THE RED VIOLIN would at least be entertaining. But, finally having seen it all the way through recently, I didn't expect it to be fascinating and even tear-inducing---Joshua Bell's violin solos and John Corigliano's music (which won a well-deserved Oscar) are almost beautiful beyond words.
It is true that, on a whole, some parts of the film work better than others. This is basically an anthology of stories with the Red Violin being the connecting thread---barely---and while three of the stories are fascinating and even enlightening and moving (the Cremona, Vienna, and Montreal sequences), the two others (the Oxford and Shanghai sequences) are either unintentionally funny (the former) or simply slight and kinda pointless (the latter). And yet the dud sequences are hardly enough to counteract the great things in the movie: not only its technical flash and beautiful music, but its resonant theme about how we all, at one point or another, yearn for perfection and can't let it slip away so easily when we find it. Certainly instrument evaluator Charles Morritz (Samuel L. Jackson, in a restrained but powerful performance) cannot let his vision of perfection, which the Red Violin embodies, escape him.
If nothing else, THE RED VIOLIN will perhaps enlighten non-music lovers about why we love the violin, and even music, so much. And that is enough for this uneven but overall wonderful film to be worth seeing by everyone.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars another Indie movie that gets missed along the way. Stop. Don't miss...
Watch this. Amazing, amazing, amazing movie that has slipped under the radar for too many people.
Published 1 month ago by Carolyn Poulter
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to find classic
I have watched this movie several times and it seems to have enough to captivate my imagination...what a terrific story!!
Published 6 months ago by CNDONBN
5.0 out of 5 stars Purchase of "The Red Violin"
I purchased this movie for my son who is a music major at University. He loved the movie and I loved the speedy delivery. Thanks
Published 8 months ago by Karen Pinnell
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite movies
This movie is one of my favourite "go-to" movies. The soundtrack won an academy award, and it's written by a Canadian. Well worth a watch as this is a riveting story.
Published 13 months ago by N. Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine . Great film.
Memorable film for people who know many languages. Italy invented it, Germany played it, China preserved it. America digested it. Do not miss it! Read more
Published 16 months ago by Martin Stiglio
4.0 out of 5 stars Red violin
Excellent story line spanning centuries - very well acted with a satisfying bit of criminality at the end. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Published on June 23 2011 by Pavel B
5.0 out of 5 stars RED VIOLIN
Red Violin DVD

I enjoyed watching the Red Violin. The history behind the making the Red Violin is well written. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2011 by Pearl
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Violin BlueRay
This item arrived promptly in perfect condition.
This BlueRay version of the original movie is excellent. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2010 by George Siverson
4.0 out of 5 stars A feast for the senses ... and the everlasting magic of music.
"Cinque carte" - five tarot cards servant Cesca (Anita Laurenzi) makes her mistress Anna Busotti (Irene Grazioli) draw in 17th century Cremona when Anna, wife of the legendary... Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2008 by Themis-Athena
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous movie from the start to the finish
It was a while since I first saw this movie.... and guess what all I had was a VHS copy, nevertheless I remembered a little and new it was good. Read more
Published on July 20 2008 by Joseph Vincelli
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