» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

June 16, 2008
RATING: 6.5/10
Francois Girard isn't the most well known director in the world. After all, he's only contributed a handful of films during his almost 20 year career helming motion pictures. Before moving into feature films, the French-Canadian director first made his mark in the experimental world of art video. One of his studio projects, The Red Violin, released ten years ago, didn't barnstorm the box office, but it did present the work of perhaps a slightly underappreciated director.

Though perhaps a bit on the melodramatic side, The Red Violin is a beautifully photographed period piece. The film traces the journey of a violin, marked with a curse and a cost, from its tragic beginnings in medieval Italy, through an Austrian monastery, to 19th Century England, in Communist China, all the way to the present. Jumping back and forth through time from a modern-day setting, where the violin is being auctioned off after a music appraiser, played by Samuel L. Jackson, has uncovered its past, to the eras mentioned, John Corigliano's Academy-Award-winning score binds it all together.

The historical pieces in the film are much more interesting than Jackson's uninspired work in the present. Every now and then, he raises the decibel level of his voice to the uncontrollable shout that Dave Chapelle lampooned so well, but otherwise his performance is subdued, almost narcotic. His role would have benefited more if he had maintained at least a moderate level of excitement throughout. Jackson's snoozy delivery is balanced by the especially noteworthy Jean-Luc Bideau, who plays Georges Poussin in 18th-century Austria, the benefactor who takes in a young prodigy, Kasper Weiss, and attempts to cultivate his musical talent. This story, as all the others, has a tragic ending, but Bideau's spirited performance injects this portion with a vigor missing from other parts. For its occasional failings, though, this even-paced film holds up fairly well, and on the strength of its score and a few key performances isn't any worse for wear after a decade of being largely forgotten.

SEE ALSO: www.lionsgate.com/meridiancollection

Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other articles by Jonah Flicker.



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