The Life of Richard Wagner
(Germany, 1913, 70 mins, DVD)
In German with English subtitles
Producer: Oskar Messter
Screenwriter: William Wauer? Reg form said NOT KNOWN
Cast: Guiseppe Becce
Originally distributed in 1913 to mark the hundredth anniversary of Richard Wagner’s birth, The Life of Richard Wagner is an extraordinarily complex, detailed, and sophisticated film. One of the earliest—if not the very earliest—feature-length biopic ever produced, the film brings together the talents of three extraordinary men: producer Oskar Messter (widely considered the father of the German film industry), director Carl Froelich, and composer Giuseppe Becce, who originally was just going to compose the score for the film, but soon found himself playing the role of Wagner as well. A highly ambitious production for its time, the film recounts the life story of the great composer from his childhood, through his tempestuous romances and his friendship with Ludwig of Bavaria, to the creative summit of his later career, Parsifal and the Ring cycle.
The Life of Richard Wagner has been digitally restored with a contemporary orchestral score by the British composer Barry Seaman and new English-language titles prepared by HansJorg Schmidt and Paul Fryer, who will be on-hand to discuss the film and his work on its restoration.
Sun, Jun 20th 1:30pm
If you like this film, try these:
(Austria, Germany, 2010, 98mins)
(Argentina, 1957, 75mins)