Friday, September 18, 2009

Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould

Hello all!

To give a quick report on the new documentary that screened at TIFF this week - Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould - I am happy to report that this will likely become the gauge by which we measure the quality of future films about Gould.  It is a brilliant and highly accurate piece of work, in that the many interviews conducted, were done with those who were closest to Gould.  The Foss family is absolutely delightful, and one really gets a sense of how much of Gould's public facade was just that.  While the film is not just about his relationships with women, namely Cornelia Foss, it does make up a good portion.  And rightly so, because never before have we been able to see this other side of Gould.  There are some incredible pictures AND footage which has never been seen before.  The film does not sensationalize anything or anyone, nor does it perpetuate the myth of him being a recluse who wears winter clothing in the summer.  Gould definitely had issues with being in control, and totally knew what he was doing in creating his own image.  Let's face it, we all still buy into it to some extent.  This film goes beyond that, as I said, and shows us a side that has not yet been revealed.  We need to know this side existed, not to be nosy or anything, but more importantly, to have an accurate conception of who he was and what he was about.  It's a brilliant film and you all MUST see it!  It's worth it for the interviews alone, never mind the footage.  I particularly liked the interviews with Lorne Tulk, Kevin Bazzana and Pet Clark.  Yes, she's in it too!

On a side note, we were informed that the film will be in theatres across Canada very soon, and also that an American company has purchased the rights to show it in that country (not sure about overseas).  I believe that company will be announced shortly.  In the US, the film will show in about 30 different cities.  Back here in Canada, a shortened version of the film will air on Valentine's day, on the Bravo! network. As for when it comes out on DVD, I have been advised by the Estate that it likely won't be for at least another 6 months.  Indeed, something to look forward to!

Best wishes from Toronto!
Penny Johnson (Contributing Author, The Glenn Gould Foundation)


  1. Helen Dixon [aka Desert Annie]September 20, 2009 at 3:58 AM

    I enjoyed reading this very informative critique of "Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould". It's good to know that this documentary will be of a more personal nature, and that there will be a different side of GG revealed for the first time.

    In light of the above information, I now want to see it more than ever! With new pictures, and interesting interviews, it will truly be 'worth waiting for'!

    The legions of fans will be anxiously awaiting this one once the film is 'out there' and the word spreads, as I'm sure it will. Thank you for sharing your wonderful review with us, Peggy.

    A fellow 'Gould-Digger'...

  2. I am writing from Studio 360, the public radio show devoted to the arts and culture. On our blog, we recently posted an audio clip of Glenn Gould talking to music critic Tim Page. I noticed that you have written about Gould, and we would be grateful if you would direct your site’s visitors to the posting. You can access our blog at

    The clip is of an interview recorded for WNYC six weeks before Gould’s fatal stroke. It is most likely his last interview ever. With Gould assuming the part of the fictional movie actor Sir John, it’s very bizarre. But Gould also talks at great length (50 minutes) about his music. Perhaps your readers will enjoy hearing it.

    Thank you.

    Jordan Sayle | WNYC Radio | Studio 360 | 160 Varick Street | New York, NY 10014

  3. Thank you Jordan, for sharing the link to the Tim Page interview. I have posted it to the Facebook page of The Glenn Gould Foundation so that others can check it out as well. I have only heard of this interview but never actually got to hear it. Now I can! Great! Thanks again.

    Penny Johnson

  4. Hey, I really want to see this film. When will it come to Europe, Rome, to be exact. Connie