Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould

If you know much about pianist and musical visionary Gould, this intelligent Canadian feature (1993) by Francois Girard may leave you feeling somewhat dissatisfied, and if you know much about avant-garde film, you'll recognize this as a popularized simplification and dilution of the much better work of conceptual artists like Michael Snow, not as anything especially new. But if you fit neither category, this is a fascinating and easy-to-take set of musings on a fascinating artist. Whether the sequences actually number 32 is a moot point, but the frequent shifting of stylistic gears between various fictional and documentary formats, a performance by Colm Feore as Gould that doesn't try to re-create any of his keyboard behavior, and a lot of good music on the sound track all help to make up for the middle-class and middlebrow pitches about the inscrutable genius of eccentric artists. Don McKellar collaborated on the script.

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