Capsule Review: Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)
Smartly avoiding the usual trappings of biographical films, Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould - as its title implies - is comprised of 32 short pieces on the famous composers life in a variety of disparate styles. While such an exercise could easily go wrong, in the hands of Canadian director François Girard (and writer Don McKellar) the film moves along at a breathless pace - punctuated by a wonderful soundtrack of Gould's playing - jumping from traditional interviews, recreations, experimental pieces, and animated sequences that somehow gel as a fine portrait of a fascinating artist. Much credit should be given to the great actor Colm Feore, who accurately envelops the character of Gould in a variety of stages in his life, and whose distinctive voice provides some consistency throughout. Not every segment is equally as captivating - a weakness of most anthology-style films - but each section is short enough that an audience could hardly feel a dip in interest before the next piece begins. A wonderful, original experiment that will fascinate even those - like myself - sadly ignorant to the intricacies of classical music.