(R, L, NA) Romantic worldview; 2 mild profanities; and, brief New Age philosophy.
32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD is a highly original, creative and at times off beat presentations about the life of an extremely talented but eccentric concert pianist. This is not a documentary in the traditional sense, nor a docudrama, but rather a series of vignettes, observations, meditations, and variations on a complicated theme. The movie is suitable for all ages, although the complexity of its themes will not appeal to children.
Before Glenn Gould was born in 1932, his mother played piano music constantly, hoping perhaps that he would hear and learn to love it while still in her womb. Her desire was fulfilled by the time her son was five, when he announced his intention to become a concert pianist. By age 10, he had mastered Bach’s “Well Tempered Clavier,” and in later years he became world-renowned for his uniquely personal interpretations of Bach’s keyboard works. Regrettably, along with his intense ability to concentrate on music, which approached that of a savant, came a highly eccentric personality and a skewed approach to relationships.
It is perhaps a fitting tribute to their subject that the makers of 32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD chose a highly original, creative–and, at times, eccentric–approach to telling his story. It is a series of vignettes, observations, meditations, and variations on a complicated theme. Each of the 32 segments is self-contained, specifically titled on-screen and usually accompanied by Gould’s rendition of music ranging from Bach to Shoenberg. While most of the episodes shed some light on a fascinating life, there are also a few moments when the peculiarities–both of Gould and this film–begin to wear thin. The movie is suitable for all ages, although the complexity of its themes will not appeal to children.