Wagner & Me (2012)

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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
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Documentary
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 limited
Runtime:
Studio:

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Critic Reviews for Wagner & Me

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (9)

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.

January 24, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 11, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

In addition to the magnificent music, the movie takes its rumpled charm from Fry's unfeigned fanboy manner.

Full Review… | December 6, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

The director, Patrick McGrady, gracefully alternates interviews and biographical passages with stirring lyrical musical sequences.

Full Review… | December 6, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

Even those impervious to Wagner's music will find it difficult to resist Fry's charm.

Full Review… | December 6, 2012
Variety
Top Critic

An exuberant and deeply personal documentary about the allure and the legacy of the German composer's work.

Full Review… | December 6, 2012
NPR
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wagner & Me

Wagner's dark side leaves Fry, both a Jew and classical music fanatic, torn in his super-fandom of Wagner. In Wagner & Me Fry explores this conflict while visiting the sites of Wagner's greatest musical triumphs and discussing it with historians, musicians and family members.

Zach Powers
Zach Powers

A pleasant little documentary about Wagner and the taint that Hitler's love of Wagner's music has stained it with for many. Could have been either more substantial or shorter, but Fry is always pleasant to "hang out with."

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

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