A close friend recommended this documentary to me, and though I've greatly enjoyed Gould's recordings, particularly the works of J. S. Bach, it completely changed my views of this remarkable man.
Previously, I thought Gould's life exemplified a pattern to be avoided, a mentally unstable man who became a hypochodriac, co-dependent, overwhelmed by his own intellect and quandaries, a recluse, antisocial, who died at far too young an age needlessly. Gould seemed the antithesis of the great pianist Arthur Rubinstein, a well adjusted man who enjoyed a long life,
established a stunning, fruitful career in music, and who was a great father and husband, and found how to reach his audiences both on the concert stage and left us a legacy of fabulous recordings.
"Genius Within" provides a judicious, dispassionate look at Gould's redeeming qualities, and they were legion. A fascinating man, the first to recognize that recordings were essential and could best represent playing music as it should be played, that all musicians play differently. I would have liked to know him, and learned his eccentricities, hypochondria and mental instabilities only manifested in the last few years of his life, and were more a media creation than representative of Glenn Gould, who loved so many aspects of life. This documentary portrays views from his friends and peers, and, sharply contrasting to other DVD's I own, "32 Short Films..." and "The Alchemist", both somewhat disturbing and/or tedious, is a product I highly recommend to anyone wanting to know of Gould and more about the value of music.