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Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)

A collection of vignettes highlighting different aspects of the life, work, and character of the acclaimed Canadian classical pianist.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Derek Keurvorst ...
Gould's Father
Katya Ladan ...
Gould's Mother
Devon Anderson ...
Young Glenn Age 3
Joshua Greenblatt ...
Young Glenn Age 8
Sean Ryan ...
Young Glenn Age 12
Kate Hennig ...
Chambermaid
Sean Doyle ...
Porter
Sharon Bernbaum ...
Female Guide
...
Concert Promoter
David Hughes ...
Stagehand
...
C.B.S. Producer (as Carlo D. Rota)
Peter Millard ...
C.B.S. Engineer
John Dolan ...
C.B.S. Assistant Engineer
...
Waitress
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Storyline

As the title suggests, this dramatised documentary about the eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is broken up into thirty-two short films (mirroring the thirty-two part structure of Bach's 'Goldberg Variations', the recording that Gould made famous), each giving us an insight into some aspect of Gould's life and career. Out of respect for the music lead actor Colm Feore is never seen playing the piano, merely reacting to Gould's own recordings, which are extensively featured Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The sound of genius.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

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Details

Language:

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Release Date:

26 November 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

32 Curtas Metragens Sobre Glenn Gould  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,567,543 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The structure of the film is based on the structure of the piece that Glenn Gould is most famous for playing, Johann Sebastian Bach's "Goldberg Variations", which are 32 short pieces of music that are usually played together. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Glenn Gould: [voiceover] My mother tells me that by five years old I had decided definitively to become a concert pianist. I think she had decided some time earlier. The story goes that while I was in the womb she played the piano continuously to give me a head start, and evidently it paid off. My mother was my first teacher, and I've never doubted her methods. After all, she introduced me to Bach.
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Soundtracks

Invention No. 13 in A minor
, BWV 784
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Strange and wonderful
5 October 2006 | by (France) – See all my reviews

It is notoriously difficult to make a compelling film about the life of an artist. Directors usually resort to depicting those troubled geniuses, such as Van Gogh and Michelangelo, who had vivid and turbulent lives, even then the resulting film is often lamentable. Glenn Gould may have been a genius, and may have had more than his fair share of eccentricities but it requires something special to make a powerful and strange film about an over-intellectual pianist. Francois Girard's 'Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould' is certainly special, and often dazzling.

Of course it will not appeal to those who like blockbuster type films, or to those who can't read without moving their lips, it requires an intelligent, informed and attentive audience (which pretty much rules out the vast majority of the cinema-going public) but not one that is especially interested in classical music. Anyone who is interested in the creative spirit in man or in experimental film-making will I think find this a wonderful film.

Just fifteen years after its release the film now seems to have been completely forgotten. The fact that, at the time of writing, it is not yet available in Europe on a DVD seems a terrible indictment of the current state of the money-obsessed, Hollywood-driven film marketing industry. If you have a brain - and a soul – go search this little gem out.


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