Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould


Time Out says

Some films are so good that they remind us of cinema's capabilities, by, in a sense, reinventing, the medium's customary form. This is one of those films. It's true that director Girard and his co-writer Don McKellar started out with an extraordinary subject - the great, eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould (who died, aged 50, in 1982) - but Girard's masterstroke was to take his cue from Gould's most famous piece, his interpretation(s) of Bach's Goldberg Variations, and to structure the film as 32 fragments, each revealing a different perspective. This approach pays off handsomely. We see Gould at various junctures, but while they're loosely in chronological order, these sequences are not really biographical, but tasters of a strangely distant, always compelling personality. Beyond this, Girard gives us interviews with those who knew Gould, excerpts from radio broadcasts, brief excursions into abstraction, even a segment of Norman McLaren's animation Spheres. Despite such formal dexterity, however, what's most impressive is the simplicity and clarity of the enterprise - and, of course, the music.


Release details

93 mins

Cast and crew

François Girard
François Girard, Don McKellar
Colm Feore
Derek Keurvorst
Katya Ladan
Devon Anderson
Joshua Greenblatt
Sean Ryan
You may also like