The Impossible Swim (co-directed with Ali Weinstein)
The Impossible Swim follows 16-year-old Maya Farrell as she attempts to swim across Lake Ontario at its widest point. With mentors like Marilyn Bell, the first person to cross the great lake, and coach Vicki Keith, the most accomplished swimmer in marathon history, Maya is determined to reach the shore, no matter what.
"An inspiring story of fearless swimmers." - POV Magazine
Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
This offbeat, irreverent documentary explores the relationship between the most joyous of Christian holiday celebrations and the Jewish composers who provided most of its soundtrack! Featuring such artists as Steven Page, Dione Taylor, David Wall, Aviva Chernick, Jackie Mason, Bing Crosby, Robert Harris, and an authentic Chinese Lion Dance ensemble.
“So good you want it to last longer than an hour … an arts program with heft and beauty.” - The Globe and Mail
Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star
A portrait of the movie legend, who was plucked from a ballet troupe to star alongside Gene Kelly in the Oscar-winning An American in Paris and went on to star in a series of musical and non-musical classics.
“Premiering in An American in Paris, Leslie Caron starred in Lili, Daddy Long Legs, The Glass Slipper, the Oscar-winning Gigi, and many others. Like Gigi, Caron ultimately refused to adopt the role she had been groomed for by the studios, keeping a skeptical distance from the Hollywood machine. The Reluctant Star is a sharp, entertaining and engrossing tribute to a true cinema legend.” - 2016 TIFF Lightbox Larry Weinstein Retrospective
The Devil’s Horn
The History and the Curse of the Saxophone
“Combined with Adolphe Sax’s too-bizarre-for-fiction-history, The Devil’s Horn is goddamn entertaining, while somehow underscoring the often tragic consequences that befalls anyone foolish enough to be seduced by the sax!****”
Clara’s Big Ride
Documentary about Canadians and mental health.
Clara Hughes rode her bike 11,000 kilometres for 110 days around Canada to get people talking about mental illness and provides the thread between the stories of young Canadians affected by mental illness: a teacher who has depression, anxiety and panic attacks; a university student who attempted suicide; a community worker in northern Canada trying to prevent youth suicide; a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"What I like the most about Clara's Big Ride, and what I think people will be very surprised at, is most of it is not actually about riding a bike. It's not about me. It's about ten different stories along the way of predominantly younger Canadians and what their struggle was, what their story is." - Clara Hughes
Our Man in Tehran
The true story behind the Oscar-winning film ARGO, told by an array of “witnesses” including Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran, who hid six Americans in his official residence and obtained counterfeit documents that allowed them to make their dramatic escape from Tehran.
"Engaging… more entertaining than Argo’s fiction." - The Globe and Mail
The 13th Man
The Canadian Football League’s most passionate fan base and how it had its heart ripped out during the most infamous moment in CFL history.
“Weinstein’s documentary is a massive success. It was the most-watched documentary ever on TSN... In total, TSN said, more than 1.5 million viewers across Canada watched...” - The Edmonton Journal
Fury, Anger, Rage, Wrath. No one does these better than God as depicted by the Bible. This short film is an homage to Divine Wrath – God getting up on the wrong side of bed.
“Larry Weinstein goes Old Testament on the sin of Wrath, editing footage of silent-film-era Bilblical tales into a humourously blues-soundtracked and captioned depiction of the rage of God” - Bravo TV
Mulroney: The Opera
A full length original tragic-comic opera with sends up a great political leader whose downfall was his colossal ego.
“Thank heavens for Mulroney: The Opera, a high concept, song-and-dance political satire based on the life of Brian Mulroney.” - Eye Weekly
“When I watched the screener, I started to laugh from the very first frame, and was still chortling after the fade-out. In truth, Mulroney: The Opera is absolutely delicious political satire.” - Whole Note Magazine
Inside Hana’s Suitcase
The story of two children, Hana and George, who grew up in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia and endured terrible hardships because they were Jewish. And of Fumiko, a teacher in Japan who receives from Auschwitz, a suitcase labelled “Hana Brady” and unravels Hana’s story through 70 years of history and three continents.
“Larry Weinstein’s deft, unique balance of documentary and narrative techniques helps…convey the combination of deep personal trauma and epic atrocity at the heart of Inside Hana’s Suitcase…a lovely, accessible and moving work.” - Kieran Grant, EYE Weekly
“Follow Larry Weinstein’s moving and absorbing film evocation and, like amazed Japanese children, you will learn essential lessons about pain and compassion. And above all, about the power of memory.” - Elie Wiesel, author, Nobel Laureate
Toscanini: In His Own Words
A fascinating exploration into the character of this most celebrated Italian Maestro, based on tapes of his private dialogues (secretly recorded by his son) that only recently came to light.
“unquestionable elegance in the setting and efforts to explore the mystique of Toscanini through this representation of his thoughts.” - Project Muse
A diverse assortment of Amadeophiles whose fascination with the legendary Austrian composer leads them to pursuits both creative and, sometimes, delusional.
“An exquisitely rendered documentary, delightfully exploring what fuels the Mozart obsession, this is perhaps the most avidly enjoyable of Toronto director Larry Weinstein's many films...juxtaposed and interwoven in an appropriately symphonic fashion to create an operetta of nuttiness - EYE Weekly
Eight comedic mini-operas, each depicting a different stage of a romantic relationship.
"The entire process of love, pain and the whole damn thing is uniquely played out in the mock-opera, Burnt Toast... TV is rarely this good... Weinstein's established visual style... is applied here... with striking effect." - The Globe and Mail
Traces the journey of a lock of Beethoven's hair from 1827 to the present day, culminating in the scientific analysis that reveals Beethoven's medical secret.
"Alternately quirky and poignant, Beethoven's Hair displays the exquisite edge of Weinstein's masterful storytelling." - David McIntosh, Hot Docs Program
The Music of Harold Arlen
Some of today's most original recording artists perform the work of famed composer Harold Arlen.
"Great, gorgeous... Another stunner from Rhombus Media’s Larry Weinstein... in a class of its own." - The Globe and Mail
Andrea Bocelli: Tuscan Skies
Great Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli sings against the backdrop of his beloved Tuscany.
In this collection of some of his most beautiful songs, Andrea Bocelli: Tuscan Skies is the most personal musical expression yet of this great artist, as it is infused with his own inspirations and his own deeply held values.
A comic (and tragic) "domestic opera" about an upwardly mobile couple in their mid-30’s (Canadian comic Mark McKinney and operatic soprano Barbara Hannigan), who argue about the cap being left off the toothpaste.
“One of the most fabulously hilarious things I've seen! Brilliant!” - Superfan (YouTube)
“Have you and your loved one ever had a fight over a trivial issue, such as leaving the cap off the toothpaste tube? Someone decided that this scenario would make a great 5-minute opera short film, and I agree. Great” - Blue Glue Ate My Mom WebBlog
A loving musical tone poem at once tragic and celebratory that evokes and explores Ravel's illness-plagued final years, when he was able to produce music but couldn't write it down.
"An extraordinary film... more a work of art in its own right than a documentary... Bathed in Ravel's sparkling, elegant music, it all works stunningly." - Maclean’s Magazine
Hong Kong Symphony
Tan Dun's "Symphony 1997" premieres as Hong Kong switches from British to Chinese rule.
"Will fascinate viewers with an interest in Chinese history, international relations, and ceremonial music performances." - Wisconsin Bookwatch
The War Symphonies
Shostakovich Against Stalin
Shostakovich's musical counter-attack on Stalin's bloody purges.
"Skillfully blending the memories of Shostakovich's confidantes with rare archival footage and the composer's searing music, The War Symphonies is as compelling a demonstration of Art's ability to stare down tyranny as we are ever likely to see...Nobody who cares about the survival of the individual in the face of oppression can afford to miss this film." - W. Mark Roberts, DSCH International Shostakovich Journal
The Hanns Eisler Story
Traces the life and work of composer Hanns Eisler, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.
The film uses his life as the springboard for a shrewd, ironic and ultimately tragic comment on the clash between art and politics. - Henry Mietkiewicz, The Toronto Star
The Music of Kurt Weill
Larry Weinstein's transfixing tribute to the great German composer Kurt Weill (The Threepenny Opera) assembles such diverse artists as Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, P.J. Harvey, opera diva Teresa Stratas, and William S. Burroughs to perform imaginative new renditions of some of Weill's best-known works.
“Larry Weinstein's transfixing tribute assembles the crème de la crème of alt-pop to create new renditions of some of Weill's best-known work. From Nick Cave skulking through a crumbling warehouse delivering a fierce rendition of "Mack the Knife," to such diverse artists as Lou Reed, ex-New York Doll David Johansen, jazz greats Charlie Haden and Betty Carter, William S. Burroughs, opera diva Teresa Stratas, PJ Harvey, Mary Margaret O'Hara, and Elvis Costello.” - 2016 TIFF Lightbox Larry Weinstein Retrospective
Shadows and Light
Joaquin Rodrigo at 90
An intimate portrait of the remarkable Spanish composer, Rodrigo.
"A reaffirmation of the strength and beauty of the human spirit and the power of music to speak directly to our hearts. The artistry of the film is magnificent, its humanity inspiring." - Prague Jury Citation for Grand Prize
Concierto de Aranjuez
The story behind, and location of, Rodrigo's most famous work.
“The combination of music and images reflect the essence of the Spanish composer's best known work in a way that transcends mere performance and documentary... an of insight into inspiration." - **** Video Rating Guide for Libraries
My War Years
Portrait of possibly the 20th century's most influential composer.
"Exquisitely composed and gorgeous to look at and listen to as well as being witty, knowledgeable and informative." - The Globe and Mail
When The Fire Burns
The Life and Music of Manuel de Falla
Shot throughout Spain and Argentina, captures the rich sensuality of Falla’s music, in counterpoint to the near monastic austerity of his life.
“This is both a unique document and documentary about de Falla, the times he lived through and the influences that drove him.” - Amazon Top 50 Reviewer
Nights in The Gardens of Spain
Performance of The Montreal Symphony with Alicia de Larrocha is intercut with night time shots of the Alhambra atop the hills of Granada, Spain that inspired Falla to write his impressionistic masterpiece.
Master Peter’s Puppet Show
Adapted from an episode of Cervantes' Don Quixote de la Mancha, we find the mad knight engrossed in a puppet play. Quixote, blurring reality and fantasy, destroys the puppet stage in the frenzied climax.
The Radical Romantic
John Weinzweig – the most vociferous advocate for new music Canada has ever seen, is given a “soapbox” for his powerful ideas and wide-ranging and often beautiful music.
"The greatest film portrait of a Canadian composer ever produced, The Radical Romantic is driven by the romantic notion of this committed artist, no matter how radical are his views.” - Wholenote Magazine
For The Whales
Writers, artists, and musicians celebrate the whale.
"Utterly quirky, informative and delightful." - Variety
"An excellent international and interdisciplinary arts film...an extremely well-done production that brings the arts together in a profoundly sincere and emotional way." - AFVA Evaluations
Brilliant portrait of the composer's elusive life with a huge array of his greatest works.
"This sumptuously beautiful documentary... combines rare film of the composer, interviews with people who knew him, and spectacular performances of his music... Rich production values, exhaustive examination, adoring in its representations of his work." - The Montreal Gazette
A film portrait of one of Canada’s most highly regarded and most widely performed composers, Alexina Louie.
“A magnificent film on contemporary music: A terrific portrait of Canadian composer, Alexina Louie, writing, playing, and sweating through the premiere of her composition, The Eternal Earth.” - AFA Review
A Moving Picture
Dance fantasy featuring the work of choreographer Ann Ditchburn. The program showcases Ditchburn's most evocative choreography, using animation, optical wizardry, and breathtaking design to present dance in a vibrant new way. The soundtrack features such internationally acclaimed artists as Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen, Laurie Anderson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Andre Gagnon, and Jennifer Warnes.
"As romantic, as sensual, as downright sexy as any dance film I can remember." - The Toronto Star
All That Bach
Great interpretations and re-interpretations of the Master’s music featuring performances from The Academy of Ancient Music to the Cambridge Buskers and Tafelmusik to The National Tap Dance Company!
Nominated for a Primetime Emmy / ***** Five out of five stars Amazon customer reviews
The Story of a Community Orchestra
Larry Weinstein's charming, heartfelt profile of a small-town orchestra struggling to stay afloat was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Short.
“Making Overtures is a charming, heartfelt profile of a small-town orchestra struggling to stay afloat. "A 'little film' in the best sense: warm without cuteness, funny without condescension, attentive and searching without pretension" - (POV Magazine)