Actor and writer Stephen Fry explores his passion for the world's most controversial composer, but can he salvage Richard Wagner's music from its dark associations with anti-Semitism and Hitler?
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. What will she think of his passion for Hitler’s favorite artist?s.
||December 7th, 2012 (Limited) by First Run Features|
||April 30th, 2013 by First Run Home|
||Holocaust, Bigotry, Nazis, Classical Music, Jewish, Intertitle, Composer, Biography, Political, Revolution|
|Source:||Based on Real Life Events|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
||Wavelength Films, BBC Films|
It's an abridged list of DVD and Blu-ray releases report this week due to technical difficulties. The best selling new release of the week is True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray Combo Pack, which is certainly worth owning for fans. However, the best releases are the Hayao Miyazaki Double-Shot, Howl's Moving Castle on Blu-ray Combo Pack and My Neighbor Totoro on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Most prefer the former, but I prefer the latter.
Wagner and Me is a documentary look at Richard Wagner hosted by Stephen Fry, who has a complicated relationship with the controversial composer. It earned very strong reviews, but failed to find an audience in limited release. Will fans of Wager or Fry want to check it out? Will it appeal to fans of documentaries in general?
Like I mentioned last week, this week the biggest release on the home market is Silver Linings Playbook, while there are a couple other sizable releases, like Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three on Blu-ray. However, you quickly run into filler as you look down the list. Fortunately, Silver Linings Playbook is such a great movie that the Blu-ray Combo Pack would be Pick of the Week material, even during a busy week. It is not the only contender for that title. Even sight unseen, Kyatto-Ninden Teyandee Complete Series Megaset comes a close second, while Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three earned that title last week.
Hyde Park on the Hudson opened on top of the per theater chart with an average of $20,341 in four theaters. That is good for a limited release, but bad for a potential Awards Season contender, which is how many people saw the film prior to its release. Additionally, with weak reviews, it has little hope at long legs. Burn was much further back at $13,602, also in four theaters. Rust and Bone saw its theater count double to four, but its per theater average actually grew to $13,015. Its word-of-mouth is outstanding. Beware of Mr. Baker remained in the $10,000 club with $10,349 in one theater.
It is a really, really busy week for limited releases. However, of the more than a dozen films on this week's list, only one of them is earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, Wagner and Me. That film is a documentary, so even if it does perform well during its opening weekend, it likely won't find any mainstream success. All of the rest are either earning too few reviews to have a Tomatometer Score, or have overall negative reviews. Combined with the previously released Awards Season hopefuls, and there's too much competition for such weak films.
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