The Musical Mind: A portrait in process has its origins in a 25-year-celebration of the movie Shine (1996), director Scott Hick’s biopic on the life of the unconventional classical pianist David Helfgott.
Here, in Scott’s new documentary, Helfgott is one of the four accomplished musicians whose journeys are explored, along with the connections between him and the other three subjects – Daniel Johns, Ben Folds and Simon Tedeschi.
Johns, most famous for being the guitarist and frontman of Silverchair, worked with Helfgott as a teenager in the 1990s. It was Tedeschi whose hands are shown playing the piano for the young Helfgott in Shine.
Drawing links between the four through understated references to the experience of neurodiversity, the film is thought provoking, sometimes humorous and, to a degree, insightful.
All four subjects are likable enough. There’s a tenderness to each of the four men, particularly Tedeschi and Johns. The former speaks of his many trophies as “battle scars”; the latter conveys a pervasive fragility despite his physical beauty and rock star surroundings. Both were celebrities at a young age and, as with many who’ve endured early fame...