Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
At the age of 14 Glenn Gould gained national renown as a pianist in Canada before bursting onto the world stage with an audacious recording of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’. Famously eccentric, ostentatiously brilliant – he listened to the Beatles while he rehearsed Beethoven – and a notorious hypochondriac, he eventually eschewed the concert hall, declaring recordings the true métier of the 20th-century musician.
“There’s lots of background and context in this doc, from precise discussion of his playing technique to reminiscences from his (few) close friends. There’s also a feast of interview material, live performances and recordings that will be satisfying to Gould aficionados and tantalizing to neophytes. If you want to know why this man is considered one of the greatest pianists of the last century, or you’ve ever pondered the links between genius and eccentricity, or if you just want to encounter a veritable fireworks display of personality, this is the movie to see…
It’s a testament to the strength of this film that it breaks through the seeming contradictions of Gould’s strange personality to show a cohesive, nuanced whole.” — Vancouver International Film Festival
“An invigorating and brightly unsettling journey into the complex psyche of Glenn Gould. Through the miracle of vintage film we are lured into the dense forest of his imagination – mischievous and divine. Gould exhibits his unparalleled skills, shuffles in his ever–present overcoat, and is so alive that we sense his footsteps, and feel his breath as we are assaulted by the duality of his smile.” — Patti Smith