glass: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, November 28th, 2023  

glass: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts

Studio: Koch Lorber Films

May 19, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Enigmatic and controversial modern-day composer Philip Glass is, unsurprisingly, a complicated, intelligent, and talented man, as shown in the documentary glass: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts by director Scott Hicks (Shine, No Reservations). The film is comprised of footage taken from 18 months of following Glass around the globe. Interviews with the artist and his collaborators (Robert Wilson, stage director of well-known Einstein on the Beach; musician Nico Muhly, film directors Errol Morris, Godfrey Reggio, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen) and those who know him personally (former wives JoAnne Akalaitis and Holly Critchlow) shed light on the way he composes and lives his life.

The documentary’s cinéma vérité style suits the subject, and the soundtrack of Glass’ music is a natural fit. Australian Hicks has a way with framing images that may be influenced by his days of making music videos for the likes of INXS, and that experience enhances the visual palette in a movie that’s populated with a lot of talking heads. The impressive two-disc set includes the two-hour documentary along with commentary from Hicks, deleted scenes, extra interviews, and four performances. If you’ve ever thought that Glass was as cold as much of his music, you should see this film to view perhaps the most humanistic portrayal of the man that’s been captured to date. (

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this DVD
Average reader rating: 7/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.