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Rhombus Media fonds
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Accession 1995-034

Accession 1995-034 consists of film elements and related textual and graphic records pertaining to Rhombus Media productions about music, dance and theatre.

Accession 1999-031

Accession 1999-031 consists of master negatives of the finished works of all its film productions to date (1999), together with textual records relevant to the film production process. In addition to the master elements, selected production elements from “Yo-Yo Ma, Inspired by Bach: Suites #1, 3, 5,”, “Hong Kong Symphony: Heaven Earth, Mankind” (1997), “A Tale of Tanglewood: Peter Grimes Reborn” (1997), “The War Symphonies: Shastokovich Against Stalin” (1996-1997) have been retained for their additional archival and research value.

Accession 2001-036

Accession 2001-036 consists of correspondence, financial documents and research files for several Rhombus productions including those concerning Weill, Falla, Shostakovich, Ravel and Schoenberg.

Accession 2008-056

Accession 2008-056 is an accrual to the Rhombus Media fonds and consists of master negatives of some of its finished works, together with textual, photographic, graphic and prop materials relevant to the film production process and the wider context of the company’s activities.

An Idea of Canada

Series consists of original film and audio footage, including masters and news clippings of the 90 minute documentary directed by Kevin McMahon “An Idea of Canada”. The documentary follows Governor General Adrienne Clarkson across the country during her summer 2002 tour. Officially a trip to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of her position, what Clarkson discovers during her visit to a string of tiny aboriginal outposts in the north is a post-modern Canada struggling to integrate cultural tradition with the wired world. A coproduction between Rhombus Media and the National Film Board.

Andrea Bocelli : Under Tuscan Skies

Series consists of script notes, song and musical scores, production notes as well as original film and sound elements for the Larry Weinstein directed 60 minute special “Andrea Bocelli – Tuscan Skies”, featuring old and new songs based on the Italian tenor’s own memories of his home province on Tuscany. Released in 2001.

Aselin Debison: Sweet Is The Melody

Series consists of a production binder, original film footage, promotional documents and production masters of 52 minute televised concert performance by Aselin Debison, a young singer from Cape Breton. The project was also known in the early stages as “Glace Bay Girl”. With a Nova Scotian harbour as background, the concert, directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, was broadcast in 2002, and co-produced by Rhombus and Topsail Entertainment Productions.

Beethoven’s Hair

Series consists of scripts, interview transcripts, research material and correspondence, as well as original film elements of the 2005 documentary “Beethoven’s Hair”. Directed by Larry Weinstein, the 84 minute film traces the journey of a lock of hair cut from Beethoven’s corpse and efforts of two enthusiasts Ira Brilliant and Che Guevara to reveal medical evidence to explain the composer’s tortured life and death. Set to score of some of Beethoven’s best compositions, the film explores forensic testing, 19th Century Vienna and 20th century Nazi Germany. Based on Russel Martin’s best selling book, “Beethoven’s Hair” was co-produced by Rhombus and Dor Films and includes archival footage of Nazi-era Germany and Denmark.

Burnt Toast

Series consists of scripts, casting notes, production materials, film and audio elements, posters and production stills of the 2005 comedic production “Burnt Toast”, directed by Larry Weinstein. The 52 minute production features eight operatic vignettes depicting a different stage of a romantic relationship set in contemporary settings. Developing out of an earlier short film “Toothpaste”, “Burnt Toast” is co-produced by Rhombus and marblemedia, featuring original music and libretti and performances by Mark McKenney, Sean Cullen, Peter Wellington, Dan Redican, Jessica Holmes, Scott Thompson, Leah Pinsent, Colm Feore, Paul Gross, Colin Mochrie, Cathy Jones, and Debra McGrath.

Childstar

Series consists of production notes, post-production ADR reports, production stills, posters, a ‘making-of’ featurette and original film elements of the 2004 feature film “Childstar”. Written and directed by Don McKellar, the film centers on sitcom icon Taylor Brandon Burns (Mark Rendall), the world’s most famous child actor who disappears while filming in Canada. Don McKellar stars as Rick, the boy’s driver and Jennifer Jason Leigh as ruthless stage mother.

Clean

Series consists of two scripts and one oversize European poster of the 2004 feature film “Clean” written and directed by Olivier Assayas
The film follows the efforts of Emily Wang (Maggie Cheung) to rebuild her fractured life after the death by overdose of her washed-up rock star lover Lee Hauser (James Johnston), and her imprisonment on charges of drug possession. She returns to Vancouver where her son Jay lives with Lee’s parents Albrecht (Nick Nolte) and Rosemary (Martha Henry).

Crossing Bridges

Series consists of production notes, correspondence, production stills, candid photographs on location and original film elements of the documentary “Crossing Bridges”. When Israeli-born Maestro Pinchas Zukerman and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra embarked on a concert tour of the Middle East, it was to be a triumphant homecoming for Zukerman, as well as his first-ever performance in an Arab country. Instead the latest out break of Middle East violence resulted in the cancellation of several planned activities including a concert in Jordan and master classes in the Palestinian town of Ramallah. Mozart’s 41st Symphony, commonly known as The Jupiter, provides the musical backbone for this provocative and emotional documentary. The National Arts Centre Orchestra’s spectacular Tel Aviv performance of the piece, serves as a counterpoint to the escalating chaos in the region. Co-produced by Rhombus, the CBC, and Bravo Canada.

Dido and Aeneas

Series consists of six stage designs for the 1995 critically acclaimed and provocative dance production by Mark Morris of Henry Purcell’s 1689 opera Dido and Aeneas. Dido, the noble Queen of Carthage, has fallen in love with the Trojan Prince Aeneas. While the court celebrates the imminent union of the two monarchs, the evil Sorceress with her coven of witches plots their downfall.
Romance leads to heartbreak and tragedy. Dido & Aeneas stars Mark Morris himself as Dido and the Sorceress, while supporting roles are performed by the Mark Morris Dance Group. Tafelmusik, (the award winning Toronto based Baroque orchestra) provides the accompaniment to a superb cast of vocal soloists including the great mezzo Jennifer Lane. The production was well received in the international film festival junket and received several awards.

Don Giovanni Unmasked (aka Leporello)

Series consists of production notes, promotional material, production stills and original film and audio elements of the 2000 production reinterpretation of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”. Directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, the 55 minute production presents the opera from the perspective of Don Giovanni’s servant Leporello, employing a ‘film within a film’ framework to reveal his master’s true identity. Starring the Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the production reveals the dark side of the opera with a provocative ending. Co-produced by Rhombus, CBC, Bravo Canada, Channel 4 Television and Thirteen/WNET.

Elizabeth Rex

Series consists of scripts, lighting design notes, production binders, set and costume designs, production stills, props and original film and audio elements for the 2002 adaptation of Timothy Findley’s award-winning play “Elizabeth Rex”. Directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, the 90 minute production creates a fictional encounter between William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I on a historic night in 1601. Seeking distraction from the imprisonment of her political foe and former lover the Earl of Essex, the queen summons Shakespeare and his troupe of actors to perform a play. Co-produced by Rhombus, the CBC, and Bravo! Canada.

Firebird

Series consists of a production binder, production stills, original film elements (including one fine cut and a behind-the-scenes featurette) of Barbara Willis Sweete directed adaptation of Stravinsky’s “The Firebird”. Adapted from James Kudelka’s classical ballet, the 51 minute television special features visual affects complimenting the performances of the top dancers of the National Ballet of Canada, including Rex Harrington, Rebekah Rimsay, Greta Hodkinson, Aleksander Antonuevic, Victoria Bertram, Lorna Geddes and Ryan Boone. Co- produced by Rhombus, the CBC and others.

Five Days in September (aka See The Music)

Series consists of interview transcripts, musician schedules, original film and audio elements for the ‘reality-style’ documentary exposing the inner workings of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the institution’s efforts in 2004 to launch a new season under a new Maestro, Peter Oundjiian. Directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, the 72 minute documentary features candid footage of celebrity soloists such as YoYo Ma, Emanuel Ax and Renee Fleming as they rehearse, prepare and interact with fans during the week leading up to the premier performance with the orchestra. Produced by Rhombus Media.

Foreign Objects

Series consists of scripts for all six episodes, production notes, media clippings, production stills and original film and audio elements as well as stock footage relating to “Foreign Objects”, a miniseries broadcast on CBC, based on Ken Finkleman’s popular series “The Newsroom”. Finkelman reprises the role of George, a documentary filmmaker, who is forced to confront issues of evil, greed and the human condition (despite his preference for less complex commercially lucrative projects) in a series of six 30 minute episodes which aired on CBC in 2001. Particular material focuses on civil war in Kosovo, Western culture’s fixation on media and… Includes stock footage from CBC, the National Archives and other sources. Co-produced by Rhombus, Showcase Television and the CBC.

Four Seasons

Series consists of production binders, musical scores, production stills and original film and audio elements (including a colour-corrected master) of the 2000 performance piece “The Four Seasons” directed by Barbara Willis Sweete. The 56 minute ballet, set to Vivaldi’s score and choreographed by James Kudelka, featured performances by the principal dancers of the National Ballet of Canada, including Rex Harrington.

Glenn Gould Hereafter / Glenn Gould : Au delà du temps

A retrospective of the life and work of Glenn Gould, the film draws heavily on archival material from various sources, some previously unreleased. Made as if narrated by Gould himself. Directed by Bruno Monsaingeon and 106 minutes long, the documentary was co-produced by Rhombus and Idéale Audience.

Last Night

Series consists of scripts, production notes, media reviews, production stills and movie posters for the 1998 feature film “Last Night”. Written and directed by Don McKellar, the film follows a cast of characters as they struggle through the petty details and minor complications of the final few hours of existence, trying to arrange the perfect end. Features performances by McKellar himself, David Cronenberg, Sandra Oh, Callum Keith Rennie, Tracey Wright and Sarah Polley. Co-produced by Rhombus, CBC, La Sept Arte and Haut et Court.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Series consists of photographic stills and six large-scale mounted photographs used for the promotion of the 1996 televised production of Eugene O’Neill’s play “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (part of the television series ‘Great Performances’). Directed by David Wellington, the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic unfolds over the course of a day while the Tyrone family confronts their haunting secrets. James Tyrone, the master of the house is played by William Hutt, while Edmund, the consumptive son is played by Tom McCamus. Morphine-addicted mother Mary is played by Martha Henry while Jamie, the elder alcoholic son is played by Peter Donaldson. Martha Burns appears as Cathleen. Coproduced by Rhombus, CBC and Bravo! Television.

Marcelo Alvarez : In Search of Gardel

Series consists of translations, production notes, research materials and original film and audio elements of the Niv Fichman-directed musical documentary special featuring Marcelo Alvarez, an Argentine accountant, whose meteoric rise to the stage after winning a song contest. In “Marcelo Alvarez : In Search of Gardel”, Alvarez returns to Argentina to perform and record the tango music of legendary crooner, Carlos Gardel. Includes some archival footage. Co-produced by Rhombus, Sony Classical, La Sept Arte and NHK. The film won an award at the International Film and Video Award.

Mozartballs

Series consists of scripts, interview scripts, research material and original film and audio elements of a “light-hearted tribute” to Mozart. Directed by Larry Weinstein, the project was also known during production as “Mozart Balls” and “Mozart Lives!”. The documentary interviews eccentric and unique individuals, including a retired Swiss school teacher, an ex-pop musician in Oklahoma who believes her body is inhabited by Mozart’s spirit, an Austrian astronaut who carried a score of “The Magic Flute” and a chocolate Mozartkugein into space
and a computer genius whose software has created a new Mozart cello concerto. Produced by Rhombus Media.

Opus

Series consists of 19 reels of 16mm film, including sets of A/B rolls, optical negative soundtracks and interpositive films for the first production of Rhombus. Directed by Barbara Willis-Sweete, Opus traces the development and performance of a piece of environmental music by Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. The film received a certificate of merit from the Chicago International Film Festival.

Perfect Pie

Series consists of scripts, production binders, correspondence, production stills and all the major film elements of the feature film, including original footage, release prints (one for the India Film Festival), interpositives, optical sound tracks and trims. Directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, the film covers the course of a weekend’s reunion between two estranged ‘best friends’ : a bright and popular beauty who married her high school sweetheart and became a farm wife and a sensitive ugly-duckling who fled her alcoholic mother and recreated herself to become an opera diva. Together they decipher the fragmented memories of a horrifying event that separated them as children and kept them apart. Co-produced by Rhombus and Odeon Films.

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