Australia, 2007, 115 minutes
Sat, Apr 26 / 3:00 / PFA / GLAS26P
Sat, Apr 26 / 8:30 / Kabuki / GLAS26K
Wed, Apr 30 / 3:00 / Kabuki / GLAS30K
“I never was a captive of other people’s ideas about me,” Philip Glass assures us at the outset of this engaging documentary. “Whatever they thought, it didn’t matter to me. . . . I’ve been that way my whole life and it’s saved me a lot of trouble. . . . There’s a lot of music in the world. You don’t have to listen to mine.” These words introduce a delightful opening sequence featuring a kaleidoscope of carnival lights and a soundtrack that captures both the composer’s hypnotic energy and joie de vivre. In anticipation of Philip Glass’s 70th birthday in 2007, filmmaker Scott Hicks documented a year in the life of the often controversial artist. The result is a 12-part “mosaic portrait” of Glass that follows him across several continents. Along the way come interviews with family members, friends and collaborators that cover his youth in Baltimore, his avant-garde beginnings in New York’s Soho and his current life of fame and affluence. Hicks successfully melds the professional and the personal, coupling footage of Glass at work with interviews that range from the respectful to the exasperated. (“I don’t know what you’re going to do about Philip’s wives. We’ve already decided we’re not going to tell you anything about them,” says Glass’s sister.) The picture that emerges is of a man seemingly easygoing yet irrevocably driven to compose—and, in spite of his own words to the contrary, passionate about his music being heard.
Presented with support from Advance–Global Austrailians. Global Networks. Sponsored by Classical 102.1FM KDFC and Qantas.