Docu is too little and too much of the minimalist composer -- too little of the music itself, too much of such trivia as Glass baking pizzas at home.

Though its title suggests a multifaceted consideration of Philip Glass, “Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts” is too little and too much of the minimalist composer — too little of the music itself, too much of such trivia as Glass baking pizzas at home. Another superficial film about music from Scott Hicks (“Shine”), pic runs a distant second to the superior new film on John Adams and Peter Sellars, “Wonders Are Many,” which really captures how a composer works. Even with Glass’ considerable following, theatrical gigs appear less likely than robust DVD concerts.

Now 70, Glass is generally seen here in the present tense as he preps several projects at once — unintentionally buttressing his critics’ long-held argument that he frequently steals from himself. Recollections of his startling rise on Gotham’s music scene are best encapsulated in a section devoted to “Einstein on the Beach,” his breakthrough collaboration with Robert Wilson (inexplicably absent). Despite efforts to show the composer’s domestic life, including his Buddhist-influenced daily exercise routines, there’s no thoughtful discussion of what’s behind the serialist music style Glass has brought to worldwide attention.

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

Australia

Production

A Kino Films, Independent Media presentation, in association with Kojo Pictures. (International sales: the Film Sales Co., New York.) Produced by Scott Hicks, Susanne Preissler. Executive producers, Keerry Heysen, Roger Sexton. Co-producer, Lindsay Skutch. Directed by Scott Hicks.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Hicks; editor, Stephen Jess; music, Philip Glass. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Real to Reel), Sept. 11, 2007. Running time: 115 MIN.

With

Philip Glass, Holly Glass, Dennis Russell Davies, JoAnne Akalaitis, Chuck Close, Woody Allen.
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