Australian in spirit, if not necessarily in subject matter, director Scott Hicks (Shine, The Boys Are Back) spent time with noted contemporary composer Philip Glass over the space of two years in order to create Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts.
Originally released in 2007 to celebrate Glass’ 70th birthday, the film is getting a brief London revival with a screening at the Barbican Cinema this Saturday. The event coincides with a re-staging of Glass’ game-changing opera collaboration with equally noted theatrical producer Robert Wilson, Einstein on the Beach, which runs in the Barbican Theatre from May 4-13.
Beginning in July 2005, Hicks spent 18 months trailing Glass across three continents:
…from his annual ride on the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster, to the world premiere of his new opera in Germany and in performance with a didgeridoo virtuoso in Australia. Allowed unprecedented access to Glass working process, family life, spiritual teachers and long time collaborators, Hicks gives us a unique glimpse behind the curtain into the life of a surprising and complex man.The documentary is a remarkable portrait of one of the greatest – and a times controversial artists of this or any era.
Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts screens at the Barbican Cinema this Saturday – May 5 – at 2:30pm. Tickets are available online, on the telephone or in person. (And for those who can’t make the screening, the film is also available on DVD.)