New to VOD this week:
Hot Docs, AFI Docs, Hamptons, Denver, Antenna Doc, Biografilm, Dallas, Sonoma, Martha’s Vineyard, Salem
An amateur attempts to reproduce a world-class violin.
A project somewhat in the vein of AMERICAN MOVIE, Avalos’ project focuses on Daniel Houk, a man who lives in a rural Ohio farmhouse who has somehow convinced a celebrated violinist that he can build for him a perfect replica of Guarneri’s Il Cannone – one of the most valuable violins in the world – despite having no apparent instrument-making experience. The film follows Daniel’s trial-and-error approach to replication as the clock ticks down to the promised delivery date and a performance by Romanian violinist Razvan Stoica to which the DIY craftsman is invited. While the filmmaker might skimp on some background, and introduces Daniel’s mother and oddball cousin but fails to flesh them out enough, he has found an unlikely underdog who remains eminently watchable, even if some viewers may stay tuned in out of schadenfreude.