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Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
(Michèle Hozer, Peter Raymont, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: White Pine Pictures
Video: Lorber Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 35,209,571,625 bytes
Feature Size: 29,011,587,072 bytes
Video Bitrate: 30.36 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside slipcase
Release date: March 1st, 2011
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080i / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1811 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1811 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Deleted Scenes and Interviews (all in 1080i)
• Cornelia Foss on Glenn's Music (:48)
•Lorne Tulk and 'The Chair' (2:39)
• Ray Roberts and Mementos of Glenn (3:23)
• Cornelia Foss on Glenn'sPhilosophy (3:04)
• Cornelia Foss on Glenn'sImage (3:53)
• Lorne Tulk and 'The Toolbox' (1:18)
• Kevin Bazzana and Gould's Notes (2:28)
Trailer for 3 films including Genius Within (2:38)
Description: An enigmatic musical poet and the most documented classical musician of the last century world-renowned pianist Glenn Gould continues to captivate international audiences twenty-six years after his untimely death. Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould humanizes the legend, weaving together an unprecedented array of unseen footage, private home recordings and diaries, as well as compelling interviews with Gould's most intimate friends and lovers, all exploring the incongruities between Gould's private reality and his wider image.
The Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, who died at 50 in 1982, has been a figure of fascination since he burst onto the classical music scene, with startling virtuosity and an unusual brand of flamboyance, in the 1950s. His interpretations of the piano repertory — the work of Bach in particular — were fresh and provocative, and his self-presentation was both matinee-idol charismatic and winningly odd. As Gould’s celebrity grew, some of his peculiarities became as famous as his playing. He insisted on sitting in a special low-slung chair, so that his long arms seemed to angle upward to the keyboard. He wore scarves, gloves and overcoats in all kinds of weather. He rambled charmingly in interviews and hummed loudly onstage.Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE
A wealth of archival footage, some of it previously unseen, and the obvious audio treasures ensure that Genius Within looks and sounds as captivating as its story. The filmmakers go heavy on talking heads (keeping track gets distracting), but the upshot is an articulate and emotional oral history of an entire life. And, as Gould himself was a charming talker who never looked less than iconic in a photo or film reel, the subject himself is vividly present. Consider it an inner life unearthed.Excerpt from Kieran Grant at Eye Weekly located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Lorber's Blu-ray of Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould is the 'Director's Cut' containing footage not seen theatrically (my estimation is about 5 extra minutes). The image is interlaced (1080i) but I suspect that it is shot on DV (1.78 AR) and not bumped to 35mm for this transfer. It doesn't drastically affect the presentation in which audio may be more significant. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and is filled with vintage static shots and clips from concerts where the quality is, predictably, imperfect. Colors aren't exuberant and the interview head-shots look fine in exporting information. The bottom line is that it looks fine - as strongly detailed as digital video can supply for the interviews and the vintage material is of varying quality.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 1811 kbps - unfortunately there is not enough - or rather - consistency - of simply Gould performing but what is used sounds very strong, nay beautiful. There is some separation in the music but there is mainly dialogue that is crisp and clear. When Glenn's performing is heard - it sounds good (tight, some depth) but relegated to the background and probably not at the level of my Bach: The Goldberg Variations 1955 Performance: Zenph Re-performance SACD (btw, strongly recommended for those who own an Oppo or similar Blu-ray or stand-alone machine that plays SACD - I consider the first track; 'Aria' - the greatest piece of music I have ever heard).There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Extras consist of 'deleted scenes and interviews' lasting a total of about 15-minutes with Cornelia Foss (she had a love affair lasting several years with Gould), Lorne Tulk (former technician for CBC Radio - a great friend of Gould), Ray Roberts and Kevin Bazzana discussing things like Glenn Gould's philosophy, his 'image', his chair and other details of his life that thee individuals had direct knowledge.
February 26th, 2011
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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