Wagner & Me (2012)
Stephen 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 learns why Wagner fascinated Russian audiences. But 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. 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. (c) First Run Features … More
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Critics Consensus: Playing for Keeps Misses the Mark
– Rotten Tomatoes
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Critic Reviews for Wagner & Me
Ultimately, the music that Fry first heard as a child "on my father's gramophone" comes first for him, and much of the pleasure of "Wagner & Me" is that Fry lets us see how art transforms him.
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.
In addition to the magnificent music, the movie takes its rumpled charm from Fry's unfeigned fanboy manner.
The director, Patrick McGrady, gracefully alternates interviews and biographical passages with stirring lyrical musical sequences.
Even those impervious to Wagner's music will find it difficult to resist Fry's charm.
An exuberant and deeply personal documentary about the allure and the legacy of the German composer's work.
Through the infectious enthusiasm of host Stephen Fry [the film] might even light the flame for others unfamiliar with Wagner.
Highly entertaining and informative exploration of the great, if undeniably difficult, composer Richard Wagner.
Even when Wagner & Me seems uneven as an art historical study, it's fairly successful as a travelogue.
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