Monday, November 10, 2008

Can you connect-the-dots?

My first day of work at the Foundation was on August 11th. In addition to the exciting new addition of Liz Murray, in the newly created position of fundraising administrator, the Foundation was also moving to a new downtown home. After four years of constant relocation as a co-op student, I have developed a slight aversion to the act of moving. Luckily, Brian and I decided that they would move on Friday, unpack all weekend and I would start on Monday in a brand new functioning workspace.

Of course, as with most moves, we were overly optimistic about how long it would take to get up and running again. I arrived at work to find that the furniture had been delayed; therefore nothing could be unpacked. Under the mountains of boxes, I tried to orient myself.

Over the month of August, great progress was made. Shelves were built and lined with our vast collection of Gould books, CDs and videos. Files were sorted and given a proper home. Artwork and pictures were hung ever so carefully. To inspire hard work, I even took a particularly stern picture of Mr. Gould and placed it over my desk.

Quickly, september arrived and I still felt as if I had barely broken the ice with Mr. Gould. It could have been my heavy conscience playing tricks on me, but I could have sworn that Mr. Gould was starting to give me dirty looks from his place above my desk! What perfect timing for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to bring Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould out of the vault. This was my first time seeing the film. Somehow, I had developed this preconceived notion in my head that it was like I Shot Andy Warhol but for piano lovers. This was also my first time taking part in a TIFF screening. I was excited!

There were two theatres screening the film: both reasonably full, a mix of old and young, male and female. I sat back and watched. I was captivated. Colm Feore as Mr. Gould was so intriguing and enigmatic yet so human and likeable. What appealed to me most about Mr. Gould was his sense of humour and dry wit. The interviews with people who knew him were touching. I nearly cried at how sweet his piano tuner was or his cousin, Jessie.

The use of his music was beautiful whether it was featured centre stage or just in the background. The film was like a collage. Just giving me little snippets of a central theme. I learned a lot about Mr. Gould. For example, I was not aware of his use of prescription drugs or even how he soaked his hands in boiling water before performances (I know, I know! I already admitted that I did not know anything about him in my first post!)

In the back of mind, I kept thinking what is the truth? What is just part of the film? There were so many things to think about! His idea of north, the contrapuntal truck stop, stock tips, the pills, the afterlife... In the Q&A session following the screening, Director, Francois Girard stated that the film was meant to "evoke not describe." It certainly did the trick. Like a connect-the-dot puzzle, it is up to me to make the picture.

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