on 26 October 2013
For anyone who is familiar with any of the other more established films on Glenn Gould, this production from 2002 (and released in 2013) will be sadly disappointing. I was expecting to see footage of Gould actually performing in Moscow and Leningrad ... but that is exactly what is noticeably absent from this 'documentary'. Instead, we see the same telegrams from the embassy that we have seen before, ... the same letters from adoring Russian fans we have seen before ... and lots of interviews with people who either did or did not attend the actual concerts, reminiscing on what they remember of the event from 50 years ago.
The makers were so short of actual footage to make up an hour, they resorted to hiring someone to look like Gould, complete with leather gloves, coat and hat, and then filmed 'him' walking around the tourist sites of Moscow and Leningrad, which I personally find corny, and in poor taste, if not ridiculous. Need a few more minutes of footage? Who can we interview? Ah - find some students in Russia at the con ... "And what do YOU think of Mr Gould?" "And YOU?", ... "And YOU?". And when that got tiresome, they headed over to the awful statue of Gould sitting on a park bench in Toronto, and filmed that instead ... from behind, from the front, the left shoe, and then the right.
Not exactly profound, nor revealing. In essence, nothing new. Frankly, I am surprised that it is possible to create such a boring and dull production about such an exciting and enigmatic figure as GG. One would be much better of buying the CDs of the Leningrad and Moscow performances (both superb) if you do not already have them. At least that contains Glenn Gould playing the piano.