32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD
DIRECTOR: Francois Girard;
Cinematography by Alain Dostie;
Classical Music by Gelnn Gould; With Colm Feore (Glenn Gould); Special Features of this film is its gentle and wonderful look inside the mind of what any one of us might call a genius.
Looking inside the mind of a master musician, or at least composer, is a difficult thing. The basic problem, which was seen through many other reviews of this film, is that the consensus becomes one of idiocy, stubborness, and a maladjusted person.
Glenn Gould may have been all that, but his style and interpretation of many classical pieces, is still one of the great achievements in music in this century. It is said that there is a fine line between madness and genius, and the way this film is represented, there is also a fine line between the directing and the truth. As a film, it certainly may not be liked.... the focus is the MUSIC, not the film. And many critics will not appreciate this. But aside from that, what this film does is what many film makers can not do. Not only appreciate the music itself, but also appreciate what it takes for a person to create what he does. It takes depth, and understanding. It takes a lot of intuition, where film might expect to find understanding and reasoning. Glenn Gould is not about reason. Glenn Gould is about intuition. And this film is no less an exercise than the original inspiration... certainly a compliment.
In thirty two little pieces, mostly in what we might consider a black and white mtv style, the life and thoughts of Glenn Gould are sort of displayed and shown. There are no attempts to mediate, or define, just a sort of interview with people that knew him, and just a few other moments, of acting and directing license. It creates a collage where the music is the center of the activity, instead of one man, something that Glenn states himself.
It is easy to see why this film was a darling of many film centers and film festivals. Amidst a more cultured audience, this is a very nice tribute to a great musician this century. In the wider world, where only Beethoven is the definition of classical music, the appreciation of this piece of work is totally lost. One must not only know the music, but also be familiar with different styles of interpreting it. Glenn Gould is about creating new visions off the old, staid piece of music tat we have heard so much.
And, I am glad to say, that the film does the same.
Although, not specially done with audiences and film in mind, this is quite an achievement, in creative thinking. Putting together one of these is almost like throwing things up in the air and picking them up one at a time. The final dimension was one of a chronological styled (very loose) story. But it could just as well have been done
in any other way.
Highly recommended film, if you not only love the music, but also the musicianship behind it all.
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