Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould

Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould

Original Canadian theatrical release poster
Directed by François Girard
Produced by Michael Allder
Niv Fichman
Barbara Willis Sweete
Larry Weinstein
Written by François Girard
Don McKellar
Starring Colm Feore
Derek Keurvorst
Katya Ladan
Distributed by The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release dates
Running time
98 min.
Language English/French
Box office $1,567,543 (USA)

Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould is a 1993 Canadian film about the pianist Glenn Gould, played by Colm Feore. It was directed by François Girard, with a screenplay by Girard and Don McKellar.

The film does not present a single narrative, rather a series of thirty-one short films. These include documentaries (five interviews with people who knew him), re-creations of scenes from Gould's life, and various odd items (such as "Gould Meets McLaren", in which animated spheres reminiscent of those in Norman McLaren's animations move to Gould's music). The segments range in length from six minutes to less than one minute.

According to Girard: "As Gould was such a complex character, the biggest problem was to find a way to look at his work and deal with his visions. The film is built of fragments, each one trying to capture an aspect of Gould. There is no way of putting Gould in one box. The film gives the viewer 32 impressions of him. I didn't want to reduce him to one dimension."[1]


The soundtrack consists almost entirely of piano recordings by Gould. A notable exception is the overture to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. It includes pieces famously linked with him, such as Bach: The Goldberg Variations, and the Well-Tempered Clavier, as well as others which are less so.

Awards and honors

The film won four Genie Awards[2] and Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The structure and style of the The Simpsons episode "22 Short Films About Springfield" (first aired April 14, 1996), is inspired by this film. It was also used in an Animaniacs short entitled "Ten Short Films About Wakko Warner".


  1. Aria
  2. Lake Simcoe
  3. Forty-Five Seconds and a Chair
  4. Bruno Monsaingeon: musician and collaborator
  5. Gould Meets Gould: text by Glenn Gould
  6. Hamburg
  7. Variation in c minor
  8. Practice
  9. The L.A. Concert
  10. CD318
  11. Yehudi Menuhin: violinist
  12. Passion According to Gould
  13. Opus 1: a composition by Glenn Gould
  14. Crossed Paths
  15. Truck Stop
  16. The Idea of North: a radio documentary by Glenn Gould
  17. Solitude
  18. Questions with No Answers
  19. A Letter
  20. Gould Meets McLaren: animation by Norman McLaren
  21. The Tip
  22. Personal Ad
  23. Pills
  24. Margaret Pacsu: friend
  25. Diary of One Day
  26. Motel Wawa
  27. Forty-Nine
  28. Jessie Greig: cousin
  29. Leaving
  30. Voyager
  31. Aria
  32. End Credits


  1. The Film journal. Pubsun Corp. 1 January 1994. p. 130. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  2. Genie Award. "Canada's Awards Database". Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 18 December 2011. External link in |work= (help)
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