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Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (2007)

tomatometer

64

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 837

My Rating

Movie Info

Shine director Scott Hicks documents a year in the life of prolific composer Philip Glass in order to explore the work that goes into creating a symphony and offer a detailed overview of his subject's remarkable career. Glass may be a composer whose name is virtually synonymous with the minimalist music movement, but one shouldn't be so quick to pigeonhole the composer. A musician who is outwardly confident and at times unpredictable, Glass works tirelessly to create a composition entitled

Apr 21, 2009

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (5) | DVD (2)

Hicks structures Glass in 12 vignettes, each highlighting a different aspect of Glass' life, and some are more compelling than others.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A hair's breadth from hagiography, Scott Hicks's Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts is much like its subject: affable, quotable and emotionally guarded in the extreme.

April 18, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Director] Hicks, provided with unprecedented access to his subject's family, friends and collaborators, offers fresh insight into Glass's insatiable drive and pragmatic cosmology.

April 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A stupefyingly dull portrait of a man who doesn't seem to be lying when he says, "I have so few secrets."

April 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As haunting in its own way as one of Glass' own works.

April 14, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An entertaining pic that will fascinate admirers but is wide-ranging and unpretentious enough to engage those intimidated by Glass' aesthetic.

December 27, 2007 | Comment (1)
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hicks the fan never gets in the way of Hicks the documentarian - he paints Glass as a musical genius but also as the eccentric, fiery, temperamental artist he can be.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

Doesn't necessarily reveal the insight behind the composer's unique brand of music so much as display the working mode of a passionate artist.

August 22, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Hicks avoids many of the pitfalls of artist portraits by grounding the musician firmly in every day reality.

July 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Glass fans will like 8-11 of Hicks' 12 parts

July 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Hicks has made one of the best films I have seen about the mind of a creative artist.

November 19, 2008 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

A solid portrait that should engage both fans and newbies alike, shot by Hicks himself, cinema verite style.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Shot on a tight budget and a tighter calendar, the film offers a cinematic style which borders on verite in approach and execution.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

There is a genuine warmth to the film that is underscored by Glass' modesty, a quality both fans and non-fans will respond to.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

This is an exhaustive and at times exhausting documentary; it's well made and revealing but it required much more editing...

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

A fitting tribute to the man and the musician, which will remind fans of his genius and point newcomers to his broad and brilliant oeuvre.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

It's as hypnotic as the music he writes

November 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Things perk up when Hicks focuses on Glass' music and working methods, especially with the filmmakers (Woody Allen, Errol Morris and Martin Scorsese included) whose works he's scored.

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Although rich in family scrapbooks and anecdotes, Scott Hicks' documentary on composer Philip Glass is a portrait of the artist in the present tense.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Scott Hicks' fascinating new film on Philip Glass ... gives an up-close and very personal view of a man who lives completely inside music.

June 10, 2008 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

It seems like a huge waste of time to have this much access to Glass, but come up with little more than a fan page.

June 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

As fascinating as Glass often is, it's simultaneously too conventional and not conventional enough.

April 17, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Career of modern classical composer revisited by generally reverential retrospective.

April 16, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

Audience Reviews for Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

"Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts" is an illuminating documentary, perhaps too much so, of the life and career of the famed composer, whose work I know mostly through his film work, starting with "Koyaanisqatsi" which a college friend watched repeatedly until an intervention had to be staged. So, it should come as no surprise, that my favorite part of this documentary is the segment with Errol Morris, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese talking about their collaborations with him. There is also ample time given over to Glass' philosophy which informs some of the projects he has worked on over the years.(Why it does seem everybody famous gets photographed with the Dalai Lama?) And what starts off as simply providing background information on his personal life and marriage to a much younger woman(There is a joking reference to a guideline that a man should marry a woman who is one half his age plus seven which I also remember from The Autobiography of Malcolm X) takes on a life of its own as there emerges a sense of his failing to balance his work and personal life adequately in preparing a new opera in Germany. While most men his age in their seventies are more likely starting to retire and relax, Glass' pace is picking up as he pushes himself to write the music that is filling his head while keeping himself in excellent physical shape at the same time. Not only that, but he also starts a new family to whose attention he cannot give his fullest. I do not think that has anything to do with my thinking that men should stop reproducing at the age of 50 and am loath to ever be put into the position I find myself here to comment on somebody else's personal life. Instead, I would have preferred the writing, crafting and performing of the opera to be used as a framing device and given more attention in general.
March 27, 2010
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

MIFF '08: To end the festival this year, I saw Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts - and how 'indie doco' do they want to make that title?! They may as well have just called it Glass: Philip in D-Minor or some shit. Anyway, I fell asleep twice - never a good sign. The film offered very few insights into his film work, which was what I was interested in. Instead, it looked more at his symphonies and his home life. It seriously seemed like his marriage with Holly was about to collapse. But having to live with someone who clearly never stops working...what else could you expect? The brief appearances of Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese added little to the film, and for at least five of the "Twelve Parts" I was as bored senseless. It sucks to end the festival on such a low, but on the whole, this was a very good year.
August 10, 2008
robfearon

Super Reviewer

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