It is telling that many of us only know Richard Wagner’s music through the medium of Bugs Bunny. This has something to do with him being the ‘world’s most controversial composer.' Stephen Fry, famed British comedian, is not one of those people. He is one of the Wagner fanatics, obsessives who are so deeply moved by the music and spectacle that they will travel to the historic theatre in Bayreuth, Germany to hear and watch up to seventeen hours of music drama on uncomfortable seats. There is a waiting list of seven years for tickets. In this very fun documentary, Fry forces himself to confront the dark side of Wagner, Hitler’s favourite composer. As a Jew, Fry wonders if there is perhaps something wrong with loving Wagner so he sets out to follow his history, his highs and lows, and to visit the modern temple at Bayreuth.
The essential question here is not a new one: does it ruin art if the artist is a bad or dangerous person? In this case, though, the investigation is pushed further to ask if we can enjoy the music of a person who may have specifically inspired one of history’s worst mass murderers. For Fry the answer is yes, because for him, Wagner is a genius and a musical revolutionary. Wagner & Me is not an incrredibly deep film but it is funny, thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable.
- Mon, Oct 11th 3:45pm Empire Granville 7 Th 1
- Wed, Oct 13th 2:50pm Empire Granville 7 Th 1