The extraordinarily talended Canadian pianist Glenn Gould define "ecstasy" as a "delicate thread binding together music, performance, performer and listener in a web of shared awareness of innerness."
Although well-liked as a concert performer, Gould appeared in public for the last time in 1964 when he was only 32. He decided to devote his time to studio recordings as well as to radio and television programs that gave him an opportunity to explain his approach to music. Brilliant but controversial, Gould did not always enjoy unanimous support, and his performances were occasionally criticized. Marked by obsessive behaviour and at times considered cold and distant, he was nonetheless a favorable influence for many people.
Extasis features comments from musicians, musicologists, writers, broadcasters, composers, filmmakers and critics. They help us better understand Glenn Gould the man, and Glenn Gould the musician. In addition to recalling different stages of his life, the film focuses in particular on the passions he was capable of unleashing as well as on the sensitivity and intensity which this eminent musician would draw on to "recreate" the works he was performing. Accounts from close friends and acquaintances produce a series of portraits that are intimate and dispassionate. As well, archival material and recent documents help convey the highlights of Gould's 30-year career.
Superimposures, flashbacks as well as black and white and colour photography create a unique, almost subdued, atmosphere. Combining images and music, this remarkable documentary, which was made possible through the cooperation of Glenn Gould Foundation, almost brings back to life one of the greatest pianists of all times.
Producer: Jocelyn Barnabé
Length: 65 min.Couleur
Available Rights: FRANCE TELEVISIONS DISTRIBUTION : Europe and French speaking Africa SOCIÉTÉ RADIO-CANADA : All other territories