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The brother you never had,
This review is from: Genius Within [DVD] (DVD)
A lovingly put together film showing Glen Gould in all his contrary waywardness.His earlier efforts at being a concert pianist in Russia or in America.He is shown at a Bersntein-conducted event in which Mr Bernstein has to give a preliminary address to the effect that he has had to allow Mr Gould to have a leading say in how he would play the music in a way that Bernstein did not agree with.The clash of two geniuses.Gould is held in deep respect when he tours Russia,captivating audiences,he is the young maestro,bring the best of world composers,and pours himself out completely like a genius of great gifts for their benefits.There are statues of him in familiar garb that are shown throughout the film.
Gould gave up concert playing at a young age,devoting himself to recording music or doing documentaries that showed man's solitary nature,usually in the far north.The film details his earlier influences,an early piano teacher of great merit,in Toronto who showed him how to play flatly with his fingertips.This is accompanied by interviews with fellow colleagues and friends.His self presentation is eccentric:long overcoat, gloves,scarf and flat cap,wherever he takes himself.He put me in mind of one of those supersuave personas Jerry Lewis adopted in some of his films.He was suave, elegant,debonair,witty,given to bouts of humour, taking on different disguises in photos.He also took a rolled up bed and the same small stall everywhere he played.
Gould had to rise to publicising his musicianship and is shown taking on different yet characteristic poses in publicity shots and photographs.Gould's mother is shown being concerned about the place life is taking him to, especially as regards relations with the opposite sex.Glen has normal heterosexual needs and likes women a lot and is shown to befriend women he meets on his journeys.However because of the demands he places on himself,he would have been difficult to live with.However Glen loves animals and children.He lives with a married woman, Cornelia Foss for 4 years who has separated from her musician husband.Her children love him and he's affectionate to them.He watches Get Smart on TV with them and knows all the plots.He also makes one documentary on the `folk songs' of Petula Clark,intriguing!Clark says she wish she could have met him.He obviously had a crush.
Glen is shown to be an innovator in music,bringing new ways of interpreting the classics,giving Beethoven or Mozart different time schemes to revivify the music.He is shown in lots of documentary footage walking in the depths of nature often byflowing rivers,moving his arms like a composer as he walks along,or strolling on a beach.He was a bit of a hypochondriac,often recording his physical obs obsessively,and taking a heavy cocktail of prescription drugs(too many)for anxiety/depression.When he was about to learn a piece at home on his 1st take he often played with the TV and radio on full blast and asked the housekeeper to hoover too,this was to prevent him losing his concentration!There is an ultimate mystery about the man,his eccentricities often drowned his personality and he was a control freak.But if you want to see the man behind the music,this film reveals the man behind the icon.