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32 Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)

Colm Feore , Derek Keurvorst , François Girard  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Colm Feore, Derek Keurvorst, Katya Ladan, Devon Anderson, Joshua Greenblatt
  • Directors: François Girard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000544LY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "32 Short Films About Glenn Gould" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

No scratches or wear. Will ship first class.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Introduction to Gould's Work for Students February 11, 2003
I first showed this to my students five years ago in one of those "after the holiday concert slump" moments.
At first, the seventh grade students were restless, similar to the German hotel chamber maid whom Gould forces to listen to his newly arrived recording. At the same moment she becomes riveted, the students became riveted. I showed the video over two days. After that, students were curious about Gould and his life and work. With the advent of the suggestion that Gould suffered from Aspberger's Syndrome (a neurological disorder with similarities to autism), some of my students were interested in learning more about people with this disability, especially their afflicted classmates.
I do need to stress, both to my students and even to some adults, that this is not truly a documentary. It is an art film. The man playing Gould is not Gould himself, but the actor Colm Feore. Many of the other people interviewed are truly portrayed by themselves, including Gould's piano technician, friends, and violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin. Even with its questionable historic accuracy, it is a wonderful introduction to the works of one of the most highly regarded musicians of the last century.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
When I watched this movie for the first time I had a small working knowledge of the genius of GG. This film really puts Gould's life, eccentricities and passions into a delicious nutshell. The 32 films represent a life in variations (after the Goldberg Variations: aria and 30 variations of the ground bass and aria recap). Other reviews will argue that _32 Films About Glenn Gould_ is too sporadic and uncentered, and not without justifiable ignorance. When I first saw this film I was overwhelmed by the amount of subject matter covered in such a short amount of time. Some of the sections didn't make a whole lot of sense to me at the time either. What I can tell you is that each vignette does have real meaning and attachment to the artist. In my studies since I have discovered nearly all of the connections. Any movie that can inspire you to search for more knowledge and enjoyment can only be good. If you love movies about music you will not be disappointed. Other reviewers have also argued that this is not an authenic biography about Gould. But to say that the deviations are so great as to render the movie invaluable would be a big mistake in this reviewer's opinion. Oh, by the way, this is also, without a doubt, the greatest soundtrack ever assembled for any movie. I say this not because of the material (though one could certainly make that arguement), but how the music is presented with the images on the screen. I defy anyone who watches this movie not to, at the very least, be tempted to purchase it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Eccentric Glenn Gould - Bach Piano Master April 3, 2008
By Kendra
To dismiss Glenn Gould as a neurotic or eccentric is quite missing the point. While he was these things, he was also much more. Gould was likely one of the finest interpreters of J.S. Bach on the piano in the last 50 years. His musical output is mammoth and his technical skill almost unsurpassed. Gould is a fascinating character. Having difficulty with personal relationships, Gould left his sizable fortune to his cats. Leaving this earth too early, Gould's legacy is still felt in the musical world and will be for many generations to come.

This movie is a fascinating entre into Gould's world and into his mind. For anyone who enjoys Gould's music this movie is derigeur.

While Gould is played by an actor in the movie, Gould certainly is playing the piano. Sergei Eisenstein the great film director once said, "One should be able to see the music and hear the image." This film about Gould lets that happen.

Done in short mini-films, 32 Short Films combines to create an image of Gould much like a Bach two- or three-part invention disc does for Bach's masterpiece. Separately, each stands alone and has value and import but together a new, vivid and complete unit is formed.

Gould is so brilliant and talented-- yet self-absorbed, that he practically lives inside his head. The movie shows him having difficulty, as many brilliant artists do, in interacting in a satisfying way (to themselves and for the other) with other people. But there were moments when all the walls fell away, and all the neuroses pushed aside so that a real, yet brief connection could be made with another. There is such a moment in this film and for me it was the highlight.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Succeeds admirably at what it is September 28, 2001
By kamus
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What it isn't is a film bio/documentary. In a pointillistic, fragmentary way the filmaker allows you a sense of who Glenn Gould was in a way that I think Gould himself would have been pleased with given his own modus operandi in his radio scripts: the interaction of many voices- tiny fragments making a larger idea clearer in a way that a more prosaic approach would have failed. Best enjoyed by people who have at least a passing knowledge of who he was but an interesting and moving film by any standards. As noted by another reviewer here: more than the sum of its parts.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I mean, HOW COOL IS THIS! August 21, 2001
I have played and loved the piano since I was a child. Gould has always been an enigmatic force in my musical landscape. Brilliant, at times amazing, but always somehow distant.
There is no getting around his brilliance (genius is not wrongly used) and the power of his musical personality. But then there are also those interpretations that are just beyond eccentric. However, I can't help listening to them and learning from his playing. His playing is compelling even when I disagree completely - sometimes angrily.
This wonderful movie uses vignettes to tell the story of Gould, well, impressionistically. It is like a movie by Degas. A simple narrative about him would be so much more misleading.
I don't pretend to be a scholar on Gould or to even know much about his biography. But this movie lets us hear his music as well as catch some of his life. I particularly loved #6 Hamburg because it works on many levels and tells us many things about a view of Gould.
The only thing I wish is to see something like this done with footage with the real Gould. It wouldn't be as poetic, but somehow seeing the real Gould responding to music is better than even the best acting.
Just terrific! Thanks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars headline
Brilliant. None of your business. I write when I feel like it. That is not now. Good bye and good luck.
Published 18 months ago by C. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, challenging, rewarding film
This is a film you either love or are left cold by. This film acknowledges the dictum that "talking about music is like dancing about architecture" and it opts for a different... Read more
Published on October 7, 2011 by Gregory Ford
4.0 out of 5 stars VHS Replacement
This is a great set of short films that steadily reveal the biography of Glenn Gould in chapters.

My wife and I already had the VHS version which was recently mangled by... Read more
Published on December 18, 2010 by John R
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Artsy for me
I tried my best to get into this, but about halfway through, I gave up. Despite the "short" nature of each segment, I found may of them dragged on with no point. Read more
Published on June 22, 2009 by Dusty
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film
I selflessly gave my beloved copy of the DVD to my son, who is a pianist and who loves this movie. I sure do wish I could replace it. Read more
Published on November 17, 2008 by notmyrealname
5.0 out of 5 stars When will this film be reissued on DVD?
This is a great film. Well, that's the review over with! Does anybody know when this film will be reissued on DVD?
Published on May 6, 2008 by Gary Crighton
5.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric Biopic For An Idiosyncratic Performer
Perhaps you are a Gould devotee or perhaps one with little patience for his many oddities or the cult-ish devotion showered upon his legacy. Read more
Published on June 16, 2007 by 410
5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of biopic: the Gould variations
Usually most films with biographies of famous people have mostly the same structure: born, struggle, die - but this movie is different. Read more
Published on April 18, 2007 by Roberto Alves
5.0 out of 5 stars A real treat
It is a shame this DVD is out of print. I have an old VHS which I've enjoyed immensely and would dearly love to get a fresh copy. Read more
Published on February 28, 2007 by James Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Not short enough!
Based on my back-of-the-envelope calculations, this has 37 more short films about Glenn Gould than I'm willing to watch.
Published on June 23, 2006 by Brian Moore
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