Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Red Violin

The Red Violin is a beautiful award-winning film of great drama and emotion, with a stunning soundtrack from major contemporary composer John Corigliano that features a brilliant performance from violinist Joshua Bell. The film was released by Lion's Gate Films on June 11, 1999 in New York and Los Angeles, and opened in wide release in the following weeks.

A tale filled with passion, pageantry, tragedy, romance, adventure and intrigue, The Red Violin centers around a contemporary auction in which a priceless violin with an infamous past is placed on the block. As the bidding mounts, the story flashes back to signature chapters in the violin's history and the inevitable impact it had on all those who possessed it. From its creation in 17th-century Italy, to the court of imperial Vienna in the 1790s, to Victorian England in the late 1800s, to the People's Republic of China in the mid-1960s, the dramatic story spans continents and sweeps centuries. At the center of the story is a dark secret that is only revealed at the film's suspenseful and sensational finale.

Directed by François Girard and with an original screenplay by Girard and Don McKellar (the creative team behind the award-winning film Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould), The Red Violin boasts a stellar international cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Greta Scacchi, Colm Feore, Don McKellar, Jason Flemyng and Sylvia Chang.

In addition to the film's score, the soundtrack features the premiere recording of Corigliano's "The Red Violin -- Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra", a concert work the composer created with themes from the film. Corigliano is best known as the composer of the opera The Ghosts of Versailles as well as the Symphony No.1 "Of Rage and Remembrance". He received an Academy Award® nomination in 1980 for his first film score, for Ken Russell's Altered States.

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