Sunday, November 16, 2014

George Pastic's "The Violin"

Most of the multimedia featured on MMmusing is at least partly original in conception, but there are also a few "finds" that I'm pleased to have made available even though I had nothing to do with their creation. One example is George Pastic's "The Violin," a marvelous short film from 1974 which I'd first seen at several Suzuki Violin festivals more than thirty years ago. I had begun looking for it about ten years ago for my then young violinist daughter and managed to find an old VHS copy at the Boston Public Library. I decided to upload a copy to YouTube back in 2008 since it didn't seem to be available by any other means. Since then, many viewers have mentioned how much they loved this film and how glad they are to be able to see it again.

Last week, the following comment appeared on the video page from Greg Pastic, the director's son:
Michael, I don't know you but I want to thank you so much for uploading this to YouTube.  My father, George Pastic, passed away at the age of 86 on November 4th 2014, just six short days after losing his wife of 62 years in a tragic car accident.  The accident happened on Oct. 30th.  George had been ill for two years and my 83 year old mother and my younger brother Russell, had been caring for him at home.  When mom was killed, he simply lost his will to live.  This short film truly embodies my father's love of music, storytelling, the power of simple images, and most of all, his love for people.  I hope that, at some time in the future, my family can afford to release it on DVD.
Such sad news (an obituary for Pastic and his wife is here), but the film is certainly a wonderful tribute to Pastic's artistry, as beautifully described by his son. After seeing Pastic's comment, I noticed that an "official release" of the film on YouTube bad been posted back in August. You can view it here.

You can read a bit more about George Pastic here, and my original blog post from 2008 is here. The "print" of the film I'd posted is a bit darker in color, though I think the aspect ratio might be a bit more accurate. It would be great to see a fully cleaned-up transfer on DVD, but there's something about the old-world charm and simplicity of the film that easily overcomes these imperfections. A film about music and memory, it manages in less than thirty minutes to be lighthearted, bittersweet, and memorably musical.

1 comment:

H. T. Monroe said...

Thanks once again, Michael, for finding such a treasure. I think we first saw it during free time at a Suzuki strings workshop in El Dorado, AR; the El Dorado program at that time was run by John Jarboe.