The compelling Boston-born, Canadian-based actor Colm Feore received a rare showcasing in his best role to date in "Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould" (1993), the inventively fragmented bio-documentary by François Girard about the famed piano prodigy. Girard's formidable accomplishment is that his film works as a mediation on the distance between the physical sensation of the man's art and the memory of him.
Gould was noted for his interpretation of Bach's Goldberg Variations, which consists of 32 short pieces of music. Inspired by this, Girard's wholly original film (co-written with actor-filmmaker Don McKellar) offers 32 impressions of Gould which range from interviews with people who knew him to short recreations of aspects of his life, plus some odds and ends. Unlike most biopics, this one doesn't aim to be definitive or conclusive, but leaves the viewer with a vague sense that there is no resolution. Which is exactly what makes it unique.
But Gould comes evasively to life in this ingenious, near-surreal take, thanks largely to Feore's shimmering, anchoring performance.