Sunday, April 28, 2013

Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould (1993)

Before I watched this, I had no idea who Glenn Gould was.  Now I know that he was a concert pianist that inexplicably gave up performing live when he turned 32.  So instead of presenting a full-length narrative film of his life, the filmmakers decided to show us 32 scenes that give us small glimpses into his life and personality.  Evidently he is an eccentric man who speaks in circles with unnecessarily large words to make him sound more intelligent than he really is.  He seems rather insecure to me; or maybe he just has some autistic or antisocial tendencies, which his obsession with classical music and radio, his manner of speaking and interacting with other people (he insists on interviewing by phone) help lead me to this conclusion.

Most of the scenes are him  listening to music. I don't know if it is actual recordings of him playing or not.  He seems to be thoroughly enjoying the music and deriving a deep emotional response to the music, and good for him.  I do not see how anyone can feel such emotion from listening to music.  I don't feel anything at all. It's just a piano playing. I don't get it.

"Boo hoo hoo, I have such an easy job just sitting on my ass playing piano all day and I get to travel the world, but I'm having an existential crisis and need to quit."  You know what, Fuck you for being self-absorbed and for making me listen to classical piano music for an hour and a half.  The ability to play an instrument does not make you smarter or better than anyone else in the world. I give this movie 5/10.

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