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Wagner and Me

  Unrated HD Closed Captioning

Patrick McGrady

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Plot Summary

Actor and writer Stephen Fry explores his passion for the world’s most controversial composer, but can he salvage Richard Wagner’s music from its dark associations with anti-Semitism and Hitler? Fry’s quest begins in southern Germany where he is granted unique access to Bayreuth’s legendary annual Wagner festival. In Switzerland he discovers the origins of Wagner’s masterpiece "The Ring." In Bavaria he marvels at the fairytale castle inspired by Wagner’s music, and in St Petersburg he learns why Wagner fascinated Russian audiences. Fry also confronts the composer’s dark side. In Nuremberg he investigates how Hitler appropriated Wagner’s music, and in London meets a cellist who played in the prisoners' orchestra at Auschwitz – where some of Fry's relatives died. What will she think of his passion for Hitler’s favorite artist? Animated by Fry’s trademark wit and intelligence and featuring a soundtrack of Wagner's extraordinary music, Wagner & Me is a provocative yet enjoyable exploration of the life and legacy of one of history’s great geniuses.

Credits

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

79%
  • Reviews Counted: 14
  • Fresh: 11
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 6.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The director, Patrick McGrady, gracefully alternates interviews and biographical passages with stirring lyrical musical sequences. – Andy Webster, New York Times, Dec 6, 2012

Fresh: Even those impervious to Wagner's music will find it difficult to resist Fry's charm. – Ronnie Scheib, Variety, Dec 6, 2012

Fresh: This sprightly doc considers one of the tougher questions of morality and aesthetics ... – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, Dec 4, 2012

Rotten: The passion that Fry and company feel for Wagner's work keeps them from the measured appraisal this film needs. They hear him, but they don't see him. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Dec 11, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Serious evaluation… with a brilliant and fun host

Stephen Fry is great fun. His enthusiasm is perfect. There is a wise evaluation of Wagner’s mistakes. It’s a visual treat. You will want to visit Wagner recordings after this. I have been excited about Wagner for a decade, … after a life of loving classical music. I loved every moment of the film.

Excellent Look at a Difficult Question

I enjoyed this documentary greatly. I have been a devotee of Wagner’s music since I was a child after first hearing the opening to Das Rheingold. Later, I learned of the subsequent history and have, like many, developed a difficult relationship with the music and its creator.

Stephen Fry confronts this issue head on. His love of the music is clear for all to see (his unrestrained childlike joy of romping around Bayreuth leaves little room for doubt) and as a man of jewish heritage, has to confront the very uncomfortable question of both Hitler’s love of the music and Wagner’s own politics.

Well worth watching if you have any interest in Wagner, music or this aspect of history.

Wagner and Me
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  • $19.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings

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