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For a year or so I have been wondering about the title of a film I saw on television a couple of times back in the 1960s (when I was about 9 to 12 years old). All I can remember about it is that it was probably set in Europe, and concerned a boy (of about the same age as I was at the time I saw the film) who played the violin beautifully (i.e. expressively). At the end of the film I think it was twilight and the boy was standing on a riverbank playing the violin as the river undercut or eroded the riverbank he was standing on. As I recollect the film now, the last image was a grassy piece of the riverbank slowly spinning in rhythm with the music as it floated downstream in darkening light. I think the implication was that the boy drowned, but the violin kept playing.
I think the film would have been made sometime after WW2 and before the 1960s, so between 1945 and 1960 ? It had an effect on me emotionally, or psychologically ?
I´ve never seen the film again.
Later, when I started high school (1969), every first form student was obliged to list four orchestral instruments he was willing to learn to play one from, for 3 months for free, & I think I put violin first, but I was sent to cello classes instead (I had written "Cello" under "Violin", meaning fourth, possibly the teacher misinterpreted the layout of my list, with three instruments on the top line, starting with "Violin"). Looking back, trying to remember 45 years ago, I consider it was likely that the film with the mystery title was what made me select violin. I had already been learning another instrument - for megalomaniacs - at the time. The decision of the music teacher to assign me to the cello group was something I resented (presumably he did it because the violin learners group was full up already.) Anyway, I grew into a megalomaniac as an adult, so in retrospect ....
Of late I started trying the viola, but the rationale behind that is another story.
At the moment I can think of a few other films with violin connections.
From the Sicilian Inspector Montalbano series: The Voice of the Violin (this is both a novel and a TV film). The plot is related to a murder and a missing violin - the missing violin is crucial to the plot in an unexpected way.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (violin and cello)
Just guessing, but I think there is a Walt Disney film called The Waltz King, (Johann Strauss ?) and that probably has plenty of violins appearing in it.
Any other violin or viola films ? Suggestions ?
The movie was put on here once and it played part way through then stopped. I could never get it to play to the end.
Try http://www.tcm.com/ and go to the community page. You can ask there and I am sure you will get an answer. The people there live and breath old movies.
I have not seen The Red Violin, but now I intend to do so in future.
Today I watched "Katok i Skripka" (known in English as The Steam Roller and the Violin). The title led to a Hitchcockian degree of anxiety on my part, especially when during the film the violin was left on the ground near the roller. It´s a Russian film which happens to be the first film directed by Andre Tarkovsky, and which he made in collaboration with Andre Konchalovsky.
Katok i Skripka concerns a small boy violinist, but it is not the film I have seen before and which I was asking about above.
I will try TCM.com as suggested. Thanks.
(Later, edit: Alas, at TCM they require me to give a valid ZIP code before I can register preparatory to asking a question, and the ZIP code where I am at the moment is 4673 and Danish, never mind.)
(Addenda: Another violin film, a documentary: Mrs Carey´s Concert, which involves an entire orchestra, but with particular attention to a violinist.)
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