Wagner and Me and You and Everyone We Know
January 25th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Look, what do you really need to know about this film that can’t be said in just a handful of words?
Yes I’ve seen it, this isn’t a dodge of convenience, a dog ate my homework, this is me being frank with the lot of you. Stephen Fry takes some time out of his busy and prolific career to take some “me” time, and we’re invited along for the ride. This is Stephen Fry we’re talking about, one of the most charismatic and personable British personalities to be imported across the Atlantic, and he gets to gush about the composer that makes him giddy as a schoolgirl.
This film is fascinating as both an intimate portrait of a celebrity absolutely letting their hair down and as behind the scenes look at one of the world’s most exclusive festivals, the annual Wagner festival in Bayreuth. Yes, the man and his history are tackled here, but the film only sloshes around in the sordid Nazi aspects of Wagner’s legacy long enough to counterpoint with the undeniable genius and exquisite beauty of the man’s achievements, not the least of which is the actual theatre that Wagner designed for his Ring Cycle to premiere upon. Fry’s at times borderline manic obsession with Wagner is always communicated with an infectious enthusiasm that an audience would have to be blind and deaf to not rush out and see if there are any tickets left for the Seattle Opera’s Ring Cycle.
Well, you got more out of me than I thought I was going to share. Looks like Fry has rubbed off on me.
—it’s Stephen-bloody Fry, what more do you want, dan