It looks as if the movie "Downtown Express," featuring violinist Philippe Quint, will be appearing soon. The trailer is out. That is it up above.
Philippe Quint is known around Buffalo. He was the recipient of one of the valuable violins lent out by Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society. He has been a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
The movie has been called a documentary, set among Russian immigrants in New York. I am not sure why they call it a documentary. It seems from the trailer to be a fiction. Quint's name, in the movie, is Sasha. He becomes involved with a girl named Ramona who sings with a rock band. She is played by Nellie McKay. (The rock premise might not be as far-fetched as you think. Quint's mother, Laura Quint, has written rock operas and became known as "the Andrew Lloyd Webber of Russia.")
I have gotten to talk to Philippe Quint once or twice and have found him a lot of fun. Articulate, too. Are you still allowed to say people are articulate? I mean in the sense of being able to communicate things clearly.
For instance Quint -- who came to America in 1991 -- gave The News a good glimpse of what Russia was like when the Iron Curtain began to fall.
"When Gorbachev became president, everything sort of started to collapse," he remembered. "Even the school system. We all had to wear a special uniform, but after a year of his presidency, people started to relax in a strange sort of way. Everything that was forbidden became permitted. Small things ... it was as if, if there wasn't a sign not to do it, you do it. Everyone was enjoying the freedom. Everyone was anticipating something happening."
That must have been a thrill.
Let us wish Philippe Quint luck in his new career as a movie star!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
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