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Gard B. Eidsvold,
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Legendary piano virtuoso, Glenn Gould , from Canada is well known for his Goldberg Variations. He hums while he plays which some say distracts but others don't care. There is a movie of his life which is very good.
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 <email@example.com>
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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As a moviegoer with not much expertise on classical music, or interest in film without a coherent narrative, Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould is a bit of a challenge. Certainly I was aware of Gould's reputation; this film also incorporates animation by Norman McLaren, another Canadian legend.
A curious hybrid of fictionalized biography and documentary, the film is indeed slightly fractured, but not as much as the comically inept Leonard Maltin whined about. Its pieces come together to tell more of running story than you'd think. It's true someone thirsting for more action and events may come away disappointed, but there is drama and humour here. Above all, what links the story together is the passionate and energetic piano playing of Glenn Gould himself, enough to inspire even a person without much of an ear for classic music.
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