|Something tells me phones didn't exist|
during the mid-19th century.
The Wagner Files (2013) **
Dir. Ralf Pleger Starring: Samuel Finzi, Pegah Ferydoni
Review By Greg Klymkiw
There's nothing dreadful about this extended music video documentary bio-pic of Richard Wagner, but then again, there's not much that's good about it either. Utilizing dramatic recreations - none of which are rooted in the 19th Century, but stylized 20th Century facsimiles - director Ralf Pleger patchwork-quilts the whole affair with computer graphics, talking heads of Wagner experts, dollops of animated graphic novel images (which, Pleger clearly thinks are clever) and a cornucopia of staggering topographical visuals all of which are set to Wagner's glorious compositions.
Pleger's attempts at revisionist imagery are dull and unimaginative.
Wagner enthusiasts might well enjoy this film, but I suspect the rest of us will sit through it and try to imagine how a real filmmaker, like Ken Russell, might have tackled the life of Richard Wagner - with genuine passion, aplomb and madness as opposed to Pleger's geek-boy gymnastics.
"The Wagner Files" plays theatrically at Toronto's Carlton Cinemas via Vagrant Films."