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Stephen Fry - Wagner and Me [DVD] [2010]

Stephen Fry    Exempt   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 9.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Stephen Fry
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Digital Classics
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Feb 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004CSKD7G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,031 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Actor and writer Stephen Fry explores his passion for history's most controversial composer. Stephen is Jewish and lost family in the holocaust can he salvage Richard Wagner s music, which he loves, from its associations with Hitler? Animated by Stephen's trademark wit and intelligence, and featuring a soundtrack of Wagner's extraordinary music, this is a fantastic introduction to the life and legacy of one of music s great geniuses, and required viewing for anyone who already loves Wagner s work.

'Bonus material: 36 minutes of interview and performances never before seen on television

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Actor and writer Stephen Fry explores his passion for the world's most controversial composer - Richard Wagner. But Stephen is Jewish and lost family members in the Holocaust, so can he salvage the music he loves from its dark association with anti-semitism and the Nazis? Shot on location in Germany, Switzerland and Russia, the film includes unique behind-the-scenes access to the Bayreuth Festival, the annual extravaganza of Wagner's music held in the composer's own purpose built theatre. Animated by Stephen Fry's trademark wit and intelligence, and featuring a soundtrack of Wagner's extraordinary music, this is a fantastic introduction to the life and legacy of one of the most important composers ever, and a must-see film for those who already know and love his music. ...Wagner & Me ( Wagner and Me )

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointment to be honest 19 Nov 2012
First and for all, a word of praise for Stephen Fry who was able to have his hobby, his life time passion for Wagner funded by others.
Me too, I'd like some one to pay for me to travel from Luzern over Bayreuth and Nuremburg to Saint-Petersburg!

That said, I think the show should be called "Me and Wagner" as it really is a Stephen Fry show, all centred around his person, his feelings and opinions.

But then, maybe I expected a bit too much from it?

Anyway, the major issue is the answer to that one question "Can one listen to Wagner after the Holocaust, especially if one is Jewish?"

Apparently Stephen Fry thinks one can and I think he's right but maybe not for the same reasons.

Hitler was also a passionate admirer of Bruckner, Lehar and a couple of other full blooded German / Austrian composers.
Are all of them to be pariah for the centuries to come? It is well documented that Stalin was a fervent Mozartian and I doubt anyone will blame Mozart for it!?

One will say Wagner was an active anti-Semite and wrote horrible things out of envy for those successful composers Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer but is that enough to make him different from all the other public figures of an age that simply was anti-Semite?

The Dreyfuss affaire in France, the land of freedom and human rights, should be a constant reminder of an age that wasn't tender for anyone who wasn't white, Christian and bourgeois!

After WOII and it's horror well documented, Groucho Marx was refused membership of a gentleman's club in Hollywood because he was Jewish!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Ektor
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to hearing a fellow Wagnerite confess his guilty pleasure in the wonders of this supremely fascinating music and I thought Stephen Fry would be the ideal populist polymath to do the job. Sadly the programme never took fire, never got beyond a surprisingly poorly informed fanalogue and watching became rather a duty. Completley wasted interview with Eva Wagner and it was embarassing seeing Fry plead for approval from Elizabeth Wallfisch. What the programme shied away from was any serious analysis of the music, the drama and the issues from people with informed and passionate opinions. Sorry, meant to like it, just didn't, amazingly it made Wagner and Bayreuth just rather dull.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This DVD is essentially the documentary by Fry which has recently been shown on BBC4 which sees the airing of a controversy that will not go away. This is not Stephen Fry as in his "America" series which tried a bit to hard to find the quant and the surreal at the expense of tackling some bigger issues. It is Fry coming to terms in a serious fashion on why he a man of Jewish ancestry with relatives killed in the death camps would have an abiding love for one of the someone whose name rightly or wrongly became intrinsically linked with the rise of Nazism in Germany, the composer Richard Wagner. As Fry's mother once perplexingly protested to him whilst loudly playing music from Wagners Ring Cycle "I know you like it and that's fine, but really you know, what's wrong with Mozart? There is little point in this review again setting out again in great detail into that fierce debate of Wagners connection with fascism. Suffice it to say that he remains one of the most controversial genius's in music, part wunderkind - part monster, and it is the prime purpose of Fry's programme to forensically examine this dichotomy. Nazi appropriation and distortion of some of Wagner's key themes has always been a issue and Fry is clear on the danger of viewing the composer solely through the prism of the dark lens that led to the horrors of the 20th Century and not as a man set in the context of his own historial era. Yet in reality there was always a theme running through Wagner's later "Germanic" thinking which provided a rich source for the rampant anti semitism that was tragically exploited by the national socialist movement. The composer was by any standards a contradictory beast and he had a tyrannical and egoistical streak as wide as the Rhine. Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fry's murky-ish delight 14 April 2011
By Pip
Stephen Fry wrestles with his conscience in this entertaining documentary on Wagner, his revolting anti-semitism, his posthumous association with Hitler (a huge fan) and the Nazis. Fry gives us a brief overview of the composer's life and follows a trail from Switzerland to Russia and finally to Bayreuth, where the composer's theatre is located, and where large numbers of devotees congregate each year for the festival dedicated to his works.

One amusing aspect of the film that may strike Fry fans (with long memories) is that the productions that Fry attends all seem to be of the notorious regietheatre variety where scenarios are `imaginatively' and sometimes 'radically' re-interpreted to make them more `relevant' to modern audiences. I seem to recall a quite amusing sketch in the classic radio series, Saturday Night Fry which made great fun of this kind of thing by introducing an opera company who were promoting the outrageous idea of `productions set in the context the composer intended' - `Presumably we can soon look forward to a production of Die Meistersingers set in Nuremburg' or Don Giovanni set in Seville - Intriguing thought', is a line that stands out for me for some reason. With this in mind I wondered what he was really thinking as he watched Tristan writhing on what looked like an orthopaedic bed, Valerie Gergiev's very odd looking production of the Ring `inspired by his Ossetian roots' and, worst of all perhaps, Wagner's great granddaughter's loopy production of the Meistersingers, which I seem to remember was met with embarrassment and dismay.

More seriously though, Fry has genuine concerns about whether he should be attending the Bayreuth festival at all and it's this dilemma that forms the basis of this film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars WAGNER AND ME
Stephen Fry is always a delight to watch and listen to even if we probably see too much of him on the box these days. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Drwhoman
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Wagner
You know very little about Wagner and his music and want to find out more? You don't dislike Stephen Fry and his brand of humor? See this DVD, learn and have a good time. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Andreas Hug
3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity!
This recording represents a missed opportunity - it turns out to be a picture postcard assessment of the subject matter rather than a deep and meaningful discursive critique of... Read more
Published 14 months ago by shortbread.biscuit
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting movie on Bayreuth Festival inkteriors
I found it very interesting and as I told about another movie on the Wagner Family, you can enjoy it the most if besides you have had the opportunity to visit Bayreuth before.
Published on 7 Dec 2011 by Miguel Angel
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Fry and Wagner as seen by an Australian.
Instead of some po faced academic taking on this subject of Wagner,addressing the audience as if he were teaching uni students music 101,we have Stephen Fry. Read more
Published on 23 July 2011 by Ultrarunner
2.0 out of 5 stars Red trousers, yes or no?
I'm very fond of Stephen Fry as a comic actor when he is given a script to follow and a director to restrain his silliness, but with this effort to reconcile his own existential... Read more
Published on 17 April 2011 by izzy
3.0 out of 5 stars This DVD is not "All Regions" and the material is just OK
American viewers should be aware that even though the description of this DVD says it is "all regions" that is misleading. It will not play on a standard American DVD player. Read more
Published on 4 April 2011 by Martin R. Lash
5.0 out of 5 stars It has to be personal
Wagner and Me is a wonderful documentary, now on DVD, because it explores a universal yet personal dilemma. Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2011 by Yodarina
1.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Fry, Not Enough Wagner
A shame that I'm forced to give stars to this one, as your reaction to this film will be entirely conditioned by how you feel about the ubiquitous Mr. Fry. Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2011 by Wakefield, 2011
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