The Red Violin: Characters & Events

May 30, 2005 at 04:32 AM · I've been thinking about the movie Red Violin, and I have been wondering if there more characters or events that are actually based on real-life people.

For example, the virtuosic (and perhaps lascivious) violinist/composer Pope is obviously based upon Paganini (minus his unusual source of inspiration for composition, heh.) And perhaps priests in the orphanage was based on Vivaldi? (Although I seem to recall Vivaldi's was an all-girl orphanged).

What about the theft at the end of the auction? And what about the maestro who commented that his orchestra can wait as he was looking through the violin collections?

Replies (17)

May 30, 2005 at 05:19 AM · I liked some things about it but I haven't seen it in awhile. I thought it was great that the jerk ended up with the phony fiddle. I liked the maker portrayed as a workshop, which is more accurate than the image of Guarneri, et al, as lone makers. The ultra-informed try to determine whose hand made which part. I thought the heist was unrealistic. Couldn't have happened that way. The 19th cent. concert violinist/rock star and his groupie was probably pretty accurate symbolically at least. Not enough gained to justify not making it available to little kids though. Something about the scene with the gypsy I liked, can't remember. It was funny how the guy could carry around his wife's body without breaking any laws. Who knows.

May 30, 2005 at 05:16 AM · I really liked the movie. The music was good to...

Anyway, its late, and I'm too tired to write more now.


May 30, 2005 at 06:26 PM · I liked the part with Sam Jackson, whether it was plausible or not. And I always enjoy seeing Greta Scacchi on the screen. Other than that, I found it to be pretty stinky.

May 30, 2005 at 06:54 PM · I love that movie too!

May 30, 2005 at 07:53 PM · I agree with Jim, in that the whole nude scene was not necessary to the continuing story and what it did do is limit it to "adult", at least in my circle of family and friends.

As a whole I though it was a great movie, but when I discuss it with people who are outside the "music/violin" sphere, they don't seem too interested.

When I go further with the "mystery" of the violin's background they get more interested, but you practically have to give it away before they seem to want to see it.

June 1, 2005 at 02:36 AM · The only scene I can ever show to my students is the one where the boy prodigy is practicing a piece and his guardian sets him up with a metronome. I like to have my students watch that scene to demonstrate the value of practicing with a metronome. Unfortunately that is about the only scene I can show them.

I wish they had not let Joshua Bell have a cameo though. His "surprised" expression when Pope stops the orchestra to play his "new" composition is just a bit to forced. I really liked the last part set in China during the Cultural Revolution. That part of Chinese history is always fascinating to me anyway but to combine it with the story of a violin was even better.

June 1, 2005 at 03:06 AM · I just saw the movie tonight for the second time. I kept pausing the movie to go upstairs and play my violin. Why do we get so attached to this instrument?

June 1, 2005 at 07:55 PM · Would LOVE to let my kids watch the movie (they all play), but I agree with the prior posts that the one "story" with Gretta Sacchi ruins it (they are 11, 8, and 6 y/o twins). I played the portion with young Kasper playing with the metronome and they went nuts. Any thughts about the suitability of "Immortal Beloved" (about Beethoven)?

June 1, 2005 at 08:10 PM · My daughter (now 11) saw this movie about 2-3 years ago and was fascinated by it. However, the life-changing movie for her was "Dreaming Together", called in Spanish "SoƱando Juntos". Have no clue as to the real name in English. This is a Chinese movie about a peasant prodigy going to Beijing pushed by his peasant father. What a lovely movie! All in Chinese. Shows about 5 young teenagers playing the Tchaikovsky so well! The movie also touches upon the cultural changes going on in present-day China. For all of us violin-lovers, and for young children like my daughter training for solo playing, it is a must. Can anyone come up with the name in English?

June 1, 2005 at 08:46 PM · Vivienne, the movie you're refering to is titled "Together".

June 2, 2005 at 02:22 PM · Rick, I bought an edited version of the movie so that my kids could watch it - they cut more than I thought was necessary, and the scene with Pope didn't really make sense afterwards (I explained to the kids what happened - they were glad it was cut!!!) but it was nice to be able to have them see it. The kids considered it quite dark, but compelling.


June 2, 2005 at 03:24 PM · My neice wanted to see it so I just played it and when it was approaching that part I sent her on an errand, put it on pause, but fast forwarded when she left. When she came back she was a little confused but I covered it well. She was really none the wiser...but she 's only 10.

June 2, 2005 at 06:07 PM · Nick: did you like the movie? Give us your take on it.

June 2, 2005 at 07:46 PM · It's definately recommended to musicians, and violinist more so, of course. (Why would you want to miss out on a film made based on the violin?)

I particular enjoy the bit the boy was trying to practice a Paganini caprice while his teacher and the neighbor is arguing over some wood logs...the boy ended up moving all the logs by himself so he could get back to his Paganini. Heh.

I think we have digressed from our original question though. So most of the events are fictional, I presume?

June 2, 2005 at 08:37 PM · I just signed on a new adult student who had played years ago. She recently saw The Red Violin and felt so guitly that her violin was cooped-up in its case so long, that she pulled it out and called me for lessons! I love it when something inspires art like that!

I have to say, inaccurate or not, "Immortal Beloved" inspired me much in the same way. It is a beautiful, heartbreaking film that made me admire Beethoven all the more. No piece of music has ever effected me like his 5th piano concerto.

June 2, 2005 at 09:21 PM · Wish I owned an instrument like that red violin;

never ever during the movie did need any tuning; just could be picked up and played even under the most harsh conditions (China); some wonderful gut strings I presume, haha only joking, great movie,

kind regards, Bert

June 11, 2005 at 01:57 PM · i liked this movie's a subject that is verry rarely explored... i know the little boy verry well :) he's a friend of mine, he's studing in Vienna.he's 17 now, still verry short ;)

Christoph if you read this, dont be mad at me ok?



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