Genius Within: The Inner Life Of Glenn Gould Review

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A documentary looking at the life of virtuoso classical pianist Glenn Gould.


Despite a wealth of archive footage and choice anecdotes, this portrait of Canadian pianist Glenn Gould fails to live up to its title. What emerges is the maverick Gould strove to create after his meteoric rise in the mid-’50s, not the controlling hypochondriac alluded to by friends, lovers and scholars assembled to extol his virtues and condone his vices. The music is gloriously distinctive, but the theory behind the technique and his preference for recording over performance are less scrutinised than Gould’s post-touring career as a radio producer and his promotion of his eccentricities. While highly watchable, it leaves many questions about the man and the musician unanswered.

While it's not comprehensive - even at the height of his fame Gould was an enigma and remains so - Genius Within is an engaging and intriguing bio-doc.