PHILIP GLASS – Looking Glass (2006)

by | Nov 17, 2006 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Philip Glass – Looking Glass (2006)

Documentary directed by Eric Darmon
Studio: Ideale Audience JuxtaPositions series 5
Video: 16:9, color
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
No regional coding
Subtitles: English as needed
Extras: Interviews with Philip Glass and Bob Wilson, Philip Glass on The Sound of a Voice, Excerpts from The Sound of a Voice, Philip Glass plays Study No. 2 for piano, 12-page printed booklet, DVD-ROM section
Length: 103 minutes
Rating: ****

This is another in Ideale Audience’s Juxtapositions collection, which focuses on contemporary music. Being one of the best-known contemporary composers in America, Glass is a natural choice. The film samples some of his many activities and performances in New York, London, Paris and Boston. Along the way and in the separate interview Glass tells us out his musical beginnings, his struggles working as a taxi driver and plumber until at age 41 he finally got enough attention that he could support himself with music. He speaks of the importance studying with both Nadia Boulanger and Ravi Shankar in Paris had on his musical development. Both Glass and Wilson describe the processes of their work together which has resulted in a theatrical/operatic revolution.

Two of the most fascinating Glass projects for me are touched on: The three unusual films he scored for Godfrey Reggio, and the unique performance entity he created when he wrote an entire opera to be performed in sync with projection of Cocteau’s classic film Beauty and the Beast, with the original spoken word soundtrack turned off.  The separate interview filmed in his New York apartment  or studio is relaxed and informative, with some great stories. Glass seems very honest and direct in his discussions, providing a contrast to the impression I had from seeing him perform on a couple of occasions.  The image quality is superb.

– John Sunier

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