Downtown Express, a new feature film starring Philippe
Quint, will have its world premiere at Symphony Space in New York
on 7 June. In the film, Quint plays Sasha, a Russian violinist on a
scholarship to the Juilliard School. Defying his overbearing
cellist father, Sasha is drawn to New York's experimental Downtown
music scene, falls in love with a bohemian singer-songwriter called
Ramona, and starts performing in her band. The film's score
features original music by Michael Bacon, Quint and Nellie McKay
(who plays Ramona), as well as Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and
New York street musicians.
Quint's preparation for the role involved intensive training with acting instructor Sondra Lee at her New York studio. Quint had an advantage in that the character of Sasha mirrored aspects of his own life: the Russian-born Quint defected to the US as a teenager, to avoid compulsory military service and to study at Juilliard.