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Rhombus Media fonds
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Rhombus Media fonds

  • F0118
  • Fonds
  • 1978-2006, predominant 1987-2004

Fonds consists of film and video footage (original and master elements), as well as sound tracks and audio elements, for over 50 films and television series produced by Rhombus Media Inc. including the finished products. Also includes textual, photographic, graphic and prop materials relevant to the film production process and the wider context of the company's activities.

Holdings include documentary materials and film elements from the following productions:

32 Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)
5 Days in September aka See The Music (2005)
All That Bach (1985)
An Idea of Canada (2003)
Andrea Bocelli : Under Tuscan Skies (2001)
Beethoven’s Hair (2005)
Blue Snake (1986)
Burnt Toast (2005)
Childstar (2004)
Clean (2004)
Crossing Bridges (2001)
Elizabeth Rex (2004)
Eternal Earth (1987)
Falla: Master Peter's Puppets
Falla: Nights in the Garden
Falla:When the Fire Burns (1991)
Fanfares (1994)
Firebird (2003)
For the Whales (1989)
Foreign Objects (2000)
Four Seasons (2000)
Glenn Gould Hereafter / Glenn Gould : Au delà du temps (2006)
John Wyre: Drawing on Sound (1991)
Last Night (1998)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1995)
Making Overtures (1984)
Mozartballs (2006)
Music for Wilderness Lake (1980)
My War Years: Arnold Schoenberg (1992)
Perfect Pie (2002)
Radical Romantic : John Weinzweig (1990)
Ravel (1987)
Ravel’s Brain (2001)
Rodrigo at 90 (Concierto de Aranjuez) (1993)
Silk (2007)
Slings and Arrows : Season I, II, III (2001-2006)
Snow Cake (2006)
Stormy Weather : The Music of Harold Arlen (2002)
Tectonic Plates (1992)
Tectonic Plates (1992)
The Lanza Sessions (2001)
The Red Violin (1998)
The Saddest Music in the World (2003)
Toothpaste (2002)
Top of His Head (1989)
World Drums (1987)
YoYo Ma : Inspired by Bach (1997)

Rhombus Media (firm)

Tectonic Plates

Series consists of four posters for the 1992 film “Tectonic Plates”. The 104 minute staged performance uses continental drift as a metaphor for the evolution of human culture. Staged in actual location in Venice and a sparse stage and pool, Tectonic Plates was critically acclaimed for its dreamlike imager, theatrical staging and philosophical intent. The production received the Christopher Columbus Award for most original and creative submission, and the most innovative award at the Figueira da Foz International Film Festival in Portugal.

Toothpaste : A Domestic Opera

Series consists of a libretto script by Dan Redican for the Larry Weinstein- directed 6 minute short film, “Toothpaste”, a ‘domestic opera’ about the marital difficulties between a couple centered on crusty toothpaste. Starring Mark McKinney and soprano Barbara Hannigan, the music was composed by Alexina Louie, and the production was produced by Rhombus in association with maplemedia.

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.

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.

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.

Red Violin

Series consists of scripts, multilingual translations, media coverage reports, photographs and the central prop for “The Red Violin”, arguably, Rhombus’ most ambitious and successful production to date. Written by Don McKellar and directed by Francois Girard, The Red Violin features scenes in French, English, Mandarin, Italian and German, requiring significant translation and subtitling.
Filmed on location in Chicheley Hall and Oxford in England, China, Cremona, Italy, Vienna, Austria and Montreal, the film traces the life and travels of the famous ‘red violin’, from its creation in 17th century Italy by the master Nicolo Bussotti (Carlo Cecchi), through it’s exodus from an 18th century Austrian monastery to 19th century Oxford, Cultural Revolution-era China to a Montreal auction house, where an appraiser (Samuel L. Jackson) and conservator (Don McKellar) try to establish its authenticity and provenance.
The film features actors Jean-Luc Bideau, Jason Flemyng, Sylvia Chang, Julian Richings and Colm Feore. Violin solos used in the musical score were performed by Joshua Bell.

The Red Violin received significant critical acclaim. The film swept the 1999 Genie Awards, picking up trophies for art direction (Francois Séguin), cinematography (Alain Dostie), costume design (Renée April), musical score, sound (Claude La Haye, Jocelyn Caron, Bernard Gariépy Strobl, Hans Peter Strobl), best screenplay (Don McKellar and Francois Girard), direction (Froncois Girard) and best motion picture. For the Jutra Awards of 1999, the film also took awards in the areas of art direction, best cinematography, editing (Gaétan Huot), best supporting actor (Colm Feore) score, sound, screenplay, direction, and best film.

It also won the 2000 Oscar for best original musical score (John Corigliano).

Slings and Arrows

Series consists of scripts, production documentation, props, set designs, promotional material and original film and audio elements (including episode masters, original film and dialogue overdubs) of the Rhombus-produced television series “Slings & Arrows”. Early drafts of scripts by Susan Coyen, Bob Martin and Mark Mckinney refer to the project as “St. Ratford” and “Shakespeareville”. Other writing credits are attributed to Tecca Crosby and Sean Reycraft for Season 3 of the production.
Directed by Peter Wellington, the plot revolved around “legendary theatrical madman” Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) who returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival (a thinly veiled Stratford Festival) to assume the Artistic Directorship after the sudden death of his mentor Oliver Welles (Stephen Ouimette). Geoffrey is haunted by Oliver throughout all three seasons of Slings & Arrows in which he stages and directs Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear. Also starring Martha Burns as Geoffrey’s former flame/problematic lead actress Ellen Fanshaw and Mark McKinney as the festival’s scheming General Manager Richard Smith-Jones. Also stars Geraint Wyn Davies, William Hutt, Colm Feore, Sarah Polley, Rachel McAdams, Luke Kirby, Sean Cullen and Don McKellar.
Each season featured a musical number sung written by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison by actors Michael Polley and Graham Harley.
Slings & Arrows was broadcast in Canada on Movie Central and The Movie Network channels in 2003, 2005 and 2006. It was later broadcast on the Sundance Channel in the United States.
The production received Gemini Awards for the best dramatic series and best writing in a dramatic series in 2006 and 2007, best direction in a dramatic series for Peter Wellington in 2006, and acting awards for Paul Gross (2004 and 2007), Martha Burns (2006), Susan Coyne (2006), Rachel McAdams (2004), Mark McKinney (2006) and Stephen Ouimette (2007). The series also received awards from the Writers Guild of Canada Awarded for best drama series in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and awards from the Directors Guild of Canada for picture editing (2006 and 2007), sound editing (2004) and outstanding television series drama (2006).

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.

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).

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.

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.

Yo-Yo Ma : Inspired by Bach

Series consists of 2 film reels, photographic material and supporting correspondence and documentation for the series of six short films conceived by cellist YoYo Ma. The episodes, directed by Atom Egoyan Niv Fichman François Girard, Kevin McMahon, Patricia Rozema and Barbara Willis Sweete, feature Yo-Yo Ma performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied cello in collaboration with artists (including Julie Moir Messervy, Piranesi, Mark Morris, Tamasaburo Bando, and professional ice skaters Torvill and Dean) and through the filter of gardening, architecture, dance, kabuki and ice skating. The project was critically acclaimed, receiving the Gold Plaque from the Chicago International Television Competition, and a special festival award from the Sao Paulo International Film Festival. The projects were broadcast on Canadian television as a miniseries in 1997.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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