Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts | Chicago Reader

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

This 2007 documentary about groundbreaking composer Philip Glass fascinates as much for what director Scott Hicks (Shine) reveals as for what he doesn't. Glass, who scored Hicks's No Reservations, is amusingly matter-of-fact about the mixed critical reception of his work and about following the money (Waiting for the Barbarians was staged by a small German opera house), but he is maddeningly opaque about his creative process. Aside from acknowledging Ravi Shankar and French composer Nadia Boulanger as seminal influences, he confides little more about his secret to success than that he gets up early and works all day. Hicks makes much of the prolific artist's family life, but music clearly comes first—one of the film's few truly spontaneous moments results when Glass's fourth wife, Holly Critchlow, is pushed past her limit and begins speaking of their marriage in the past tense. 115 min.

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