Genius Within in Playback Magazine
September 2, 2009
Real to Reel: Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould
by: Marc Glassman
Aug 31, 2009
Love life of Glenn Gould revealed at long last
• Directors: Peter Raymont, Michele Hozer
• Producer: Peter Raymont
• Production company: White Pine Pictures
• Featuring: Glenn Gould, Cornelia Foss
• Distributor: KinoSmith (Canada)
• International sales: Films Transit International
Piano virtuoso Glenn Gould was a sensation in the late 1950s, a genuine Canadian icon who hit the heights of international acclaim after his recording of The Goldberg Variations became a best-selling classical disc. Since his death at the age of 50 in 1982, Gould has been the subject of numerous biographies and films. So why make another doc?
Peter Raymont, the CEO of White Pine Pictures and co-director of Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould, says enthusiastically that “What was cool about Glenn Gould [from the ’50s] was that he was handsome and articulate and attractive to people in so many ways… but no one ever talked about his sexuality.”
Until recently, no one talked about his love life. Remarkably, the silence has only been broken in the past year and Genius Within is the first film in which the great love of his life, painter Cornelia Foss, has been interviewed.
“Here was a new side to him: his romantic life,” says Raymont of the interviews conducted with Foss by his co-director Michele Hozer. “It humanizes Gould. He’s no longer this weird, solitary, lonely figure.
“We discovered footage that had never been seen before, diaries that only a few scholars had read, and home recordings of music that had never been released to the public,” he explains. “It was a treasure trove.”
Genius Within is Hozer’s first directorial credit; previously she edited White Pine’s celebrated biopics on Roméo Dallaire, James Orbinski and Ariel Dorfman. She says, “Working with Peter Raymont is like being on a treadmill. You are working [and sweating] really hard. But when it is all over, you look great!”