Monday, February 27, 2012

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (2007)

It was just last summer that I stumbled upon the work of Philip Glass. I became addicted to his music and the album Solo Piano played in my house every evening. The same thing happened to director Scott Hicks (Shine), when his son took him to a midnight screening of Koyaanisqati, a movie scored by Glass. Since then, he became an unconditional fan.

In 2005, Hicks started working on a documentary about the composer. The result is an intimate portrait of Philip Glass. In this movie we discover a man who is profundly human, funny, intelligent and spiritual. But also a man who can be stubborn, obsessed by his work and makes huge sacrifices for his music. Scott Hicks followed the composer during a two years period, filming him at home, in his cottage in Nova Scotia and also at work with famous directors. I wouldn't recommend this movie for people who don't know the work of Glass, but this film is essential viewing for anyone interested in the work of the composer.

If you want to discover Philip Glass and you are intimidated by his huge discography, here are my suggestions: Glassworks (1982), Koyaanisqati (1983), Solo Piano (1989) and the Songs from the Trilogy compilation of works for the opera (1989).


  1. Another one of my all-time favorite composers! I can't tell you how much his work has affected me, in so many ways. Saw him play his piano pieces on two different occasions, each time at an appearance by the Dalai Lama, and each time a wonderful surprise. Will definitely check out this documentary.

  2. Great movie, Unfortunately I had to buy it from amazon because I couldn't find it for downloading or on videoclubs near my place.

    I haven't watched the second dvd with special features yet, plan to do it this week.