Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
on 27 July 2009
This beautifully shot feature length documentary from film director Scott ('Shine')Hicks is set to become the definitive potraite of the great American "Minimalist" composer Philip Glass. Interviewee's include Philips Wife, children, siblings, old friends such as Chuck Close and collaborators from Woody Allan to Martin Scorcese. In the twelve Chapters that this film is divided into very aspect of Philips life is covered, both past and present: from early childhood (including earliest musical memories and inspirations), to educational experiences at Chicago college and The Julliard School, to studying under Nadia Boulanger and Ravi Shankar, the origins and formation of the Philip Glass Ensemble, formative experiences in Paris and New York and even PG's religous beliefs and practices are filmed and discussed, it is a truely exaustive account of a life lived to the fullest.
The real revelation and delight of this film, however, is the personality of the man himself; engaging, warm, funny, open, candid, 'Down-to-Earth' and articulate with none of the pomposity, granduer or self-importance one imagines when the word 'Composer' is mentioned!He is the total antithesis of how you would imagine a composer of Philips stature to be. Once you have seen this film you feel as if you have made a new friend, thats how intimate a portraite it is.
Having first discovered Philips music through a late-night screening of 'Powaqqatsi'(still my favourite) it is a delight to see that films visionary director Godfrey(Koyaanisqatsi)Reggio included in this doc' and in the bonus interviews on the second disc in this collection. When will someone (please) make a feature length documentary about that fascinating man and his lifes work? He's a genius!
The second disc contains the three full 'unabridged' interviews with Philip which last for aprox' 1 hour 45 minutes (edited versions of which appear in the main feature) and bonus performances including: 'Dracula'(with Kronos Quartet), 'Metamorphosis'(solo piano), 'Orion'(Philip Glass Ensemble), and 'Einstein on the Beach'(rehearsal only!). This two disc set is surely a must buy for any serious admirer of Philip Glass' music.Highly recommended.