FFF 2017 Day 5–How To Build Your Own Stradivarius Violin

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Stefan Avalos, Moderated by FFF  Doc Selection Committee Member Christopher Ramsey, Gives the Audience a Behind the Scenes Look at His Exceptional Documentary

Despite the fact that there was a lot of positive buzz around the FFF for Strad Style for some reason, as I watched the trailer and read the preview information, it was not appealing to me at all–until Mrs. LanceAround and I saw it.

When the movie was over, Mrs LanceAround leaned over and said, “What an amazing film.”  I agreed. Moment by moment this well made film spun its web and drew the audience deeper and deeper into the life of its sole protagonist.

As I struggled with trying to figure out how I was going to approach my review of this film, I quickly realized this movie somehow, some way, rises above its individual components to become something truly special. It does so in a way that is difficult for me to describe–especially being careful not to reveal any spoilers.

The elements are simple:

A man in rural Ohio, Daniel Houck, a recluse who suffers from Bi-polar Disorder, attempts to recreate one of the world’s most famous violins–even though he has no formal training in violin making.

He manages to contact Razvan Stoica, a Romanian violin virtuoso who has been recognized across the world as the best violinist under the age of 30, and they begin communicating online.

An actual, local violin maker in Ohio offers a minimal amount of support and assistance, although Daniel appears to think he can accomplish his task without a lot of outside help.

Without steady income, poor and living alone in a house without much heat during the frigid Ohio winters, Daniel diligently works on his violin–when he does not get distracted by other things.

From there, the movie teeters between the unbelievable and the precipice. Does the virtuoso really want to have a relationship with this violin maker or is he just humoring him? Can Daniel really make a violin or is he just freakin crazy? Is there going to be a storybook ending or will this man who takes medicine for his mental disorder just wind up falling off a cliff?

Skillfully directed and superbly edited by documentarian Stefan Avalos, this movie is a gem. All of the above questions get answered as the tale winds it’s way to an unexpected conclusion. All of it engulfed by a soundtrack featuring beautiful violin music most of it played by Razvan Stoica himself.

Seek this film out. It’s a beauty.

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2 Responses to “FFF 2017 Day 5–How To Build Your Own Stradivarius Violin”

  1. Heidi Strawser Says:

    As the parent of a violinist, this sounds interesting! I’ll have to check it out.

  2. LanceAround Says:

    Hi Heidi: Thanks for joining the conversation. You and your violinist will really love this movie. Let me know what you think of it after you’ve watched it. LanceAround

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