Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould [Import USA Zone 1]
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An enigmatic musical poet and world-renowned pianist Glenn Gould continues to captivate twenty-seven years after his untimely death. His inimitable music and writing reveal an insightful worldview that we are still unraveling his use of complex recording technologies, including manipulating recordings over dubbing, was unprecedented. Though there have been many documentaries about Gould, most are distracted by his eccentricities, focusing on the pills, gloves, and scarves while missing the man and message behind the music. Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould pierces through the myths, revealing the man beneath the icon. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Blu-ray.
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I very much enjoyed this film, as most Gould fans will, but was somehow left with more questions than I had going in. Maybe that's okay and even for the best, but areas I'd like to have seen explored more in depth---certain relationships, his addiction, his philosophies---were given less space than certain other relationships etc, things I found much less germane to my love of the man's music.
It would have been nice to see more of the early Glenn and less of the latter, as his semi-tragic "downfall" rarely stirs the musical soul like his early triumphs (but the '81 GV are sublime), and the focus on the incidentals (the scarves and hat and overcoat, blah blah) detracts from the glory of the music at points.
There are nonetheless many fine nuggets of Gouldiana here for any fan or even casual listener. Some of the clips of him playing, as in the Eaton's studio, have moments of sheer beauty, and those alone are worth seeing this for. Likewise the love of some of his friends, though their sadness and confusion with him almost seems pointless when we could be hearing more of what really mattered: the music!
All too human being: check.
Totally unique pianist: double check.
Which matters more? I'd say the latter times a thousand, and that's the inner life I'd like to know more of via more music and interviews with Glenn, and less from those who knew him. Because after all, how many of us know anybody else's real inner life? It's all conjecture. Clearly some of these people did not really "get" Glenn, so their theories left me high and dry more than once.
But I loved seeing and hearing Gould himself, and the joy he took in playing. That's where the juice is, and for the moments this film shows Gould in his element we see that after all it was the music that mattered most to him. And us.
Knowing the biography, there were still many discoveries in the film for me. I would have liked more clinical review, even if speculative. What were the specific meds that he was unwisely mixing? Ever a behavioral diagnosis? The documentary only glances at Gould's aversion to touch, which was major (e.g., there was extended litigation with an admirer who clapped Gould on the back.)
Unlikely that any Gould enthusiast will be disappointed with this documentary. Gould's psychological dynamic probably relates to being the only child of older parents. His deep genius, I suspect, will continue as mystery.