Wagner and Cinema

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Overview

The work of Richard Wagner is a continuing source of artistic inspiration and ideological controversy in literature, philosophy, and music, as well as cinema. In Wagner and Cinema, a diverse group of established and emerging scholars examines Wagner's influence on cinema from the silent era to the present. The essays in this collection engage in a critical dialogue with existing studies-extending and renovating current theories related to the topic-and propose unexplored topics and new methodological perspectives. The contributors discuss films ranging from the 1913 biopic of Wagner to Ridley Scott's Gladiator, with essays on silent cinema, film scoring, Wagner in Hollywood, German cinema and Wagner beyond the soundtrack.

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Editorial Reviews

Camero-Stylo

"The essays in this collection engage in a critical dialogue with existing studies—extending and renovating current theories related to the topic—and propose unexplored topics and new methodological perspectives." —Camero-Stylo, March 01, 2010

Choice

"A useful resource for serious students of film, theater, and/or music, the book includes numerous photos, and helpful music notation enhances the text.... Recommended." —Choice

Screening the Past

"[T]he book... present[s] the reader with a strong and very varied attempt to discuss the relation between Wagner, opera and cinema and includes a vast array of densely detailed information covering large historical periods in many of its well-written essays." —Screening the Past, Issue 29

German Studies Review

"Wagner & Cinema provides a comprehensive discussion of its subject... [I]t offers an excellent introduction for scholars interested in Wagner's influence on film and offers a starting point for future studies." —German Studies Review, 34/2 (2011)

Scope
"[Wagner and Cinema] looks at the plethora of senses in which Wagner's music and different kinds of Wagnerian reception histories have informed cinematic production throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries....Wagner and Cinema is a text that will no doubt be consulted for many years henceforward." —Nathan Waddell, Scope, Issue 24, 2012

— Nathan Waddell

Linda Hutcheon

"Timely, relevant, and absolutely central to what is going on in so many fields. The editors have done a terrific job in bringing together not only the most appropriate but also the most stimulating and exciting of contributors." —Linda Hutcheon, author of A Theory of Adaptation

A. C. Shahriari

Each contributor to this collection brings a unique perspective on Wagner's influences on cinema. Some of the essays suggest that given his vision of Gesamtkunstwerk (synthesis of the arts), the maestro would have been more comfortable in the modern age as a movie producer/director than as a composer/director of opera. Maybe or maybe not, but Wagner's influence on cinema was certainly profound; his work inspired filmmakers and score composers from cinema's earliest years and continues to inspire today. Joe (musicology, Univ. of Cincinnati) and Gilman (liberal arts and sciences, Emory Univ.) divide the essays into five thematic parts: 'Wagner and the Silent Fil'"; 'Wagnerian Resonance in Film Scoring,' which examines specific composers, e.g., Max Steiner and Franz Waxman; 'Wagner in Hollywood,' which considers implicit/explicit use of Wagner's music in Hollywood productions; 'Wagner in German Cinema,' which treats the composer's ideological presence in new German cinema of such directors as Werner Herzog and Alexander Kluge; and 'Wagner beyond the Sound Track,' which looks at Wagner's impact on the aesthetics of cinema, film noir in particular. A useful resource for serious students of film, theater, and/or music, the book includes numerous photos, and helpful music notation enhances the text. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. --Choice A. C. Shahriari, Kent State University, December 2010

Scope - Nathan Waddell

"[Wagner and Cinema] looks at the plethora of senses in which Wagner's music and different kinds of Wagnerian reception histories have informed cinematic production throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries....Wagner and Cinema is a text that will no doubt be consulted for many years henceforward." —Nathan Waddell, Scope, Issue 24, 2012

From the Publisher
"[T]he book... present[s] the reader with a strong and very varied attempt to discuss the relation between Wagner, opera and cinema and includes a vast array of densely detailed information covering large historical periods in many of its well-written essays." —Screening the Past, Issue 29

"The essays in this collection engage in a critical dialogue with existing studies—extending and renovating current theories related to the topic—and propose unexplored topics and new methodological perspectives." —Camero-Stylo, March 01, 2010

"A useful resource for serious students of film, theater, and/or music, the book includes numerous photos, and helpful music notation enhances the text.... Recommended." —Choice

Choice

"A useful resource for serious students of film, theater, and/or music, the book includes numerous photos, and helpful music notation enhances the text.... Recommended." —Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253300300
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 12/23/2009
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeongwon Joe is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Cincinnati. She is editor of Between Opera and Cinema (with Rose Theresa) and has published articles on Milos Forman’s Amadeus, Philip Glass’s La Belle et la Bête, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Gérard Corbiau’s Farinelli, and other works related to opera and film music.

Sander L. Gilman is Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Emory University. He is author of Fat: A Cultural History of Obesity; Multiculturalism and the Jews; Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery; Freud, Race, and Gender; and Jewish Self-Hatred: Anti-Semitism and the Hidden Language of the Jews.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword Tony Palmer ix

Introduction Why Wagner and Cinema? Tolkien Was Wrong Jeongwon Joe 1

Part 1 Wagner and the Silent Film

1 Wagnerian Motives: Narrative Integration and the Development of Silent Film Accompaniment, 1908-1913 James Buhler 27

2 Underscoring Drama-Picturing Music Peter Franklin 46

3 The Life and Works of Richard Wagner (1913): Becce, Froelich, and Messter Paul Fryer 65

4 Listening for Wagner in Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen Adeline Mueller 85

Part 2 Wagnerian Resonance in Film Scoring

5 The Resonances of Wagnerian Opera and Nineteenth-Century Melodrama in the Film Scores of Max Steiner David Neumeyer 111

6 Wagner's Influence on Gender Roles in Early Hollywood Film Eva Rieger 131

7 The Penumbra of Wagner's Ombra in Two Science Fiction Films from 1951: The Thing from Another World and The Day the Earth Stood Still William H. Rosar 152

Part 3 Wagner in Hollywood

8 "Soll ich lauschen?": Love-Death in Humoresque Marcia J. Citron 167

9 Hollywood's German Fantasy: Ridley Scott's Gladiator Marc A. Weiner 186

10 Reading Wagner in Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips (1944) Neil Lerner 210

11 Piercing Wagner: The Ring in Golden Earrings Scott D. Paulin 225

Part 4 Wagner in German Cinema

12 Wagner as Leitmotif: The New German Cinema and Beyond Roger Hillman 253

13 The Power of Emotion: Wagner and Film Jeremy Tambling 273

14 Wagner in East Germany: Joachim Herz's Der fliegende Holländer (1964) Joy H. Calico 294

Part 5 Wagner Beyond the Soundtrack

15 Nocturnal Wagner: The Cultural Survival of Tristan und Isolde in Hollywood Elisabeth Bronfen 315

16 Ludwig's Wagner and Visconti's Ludwig Giorgio Biancorosso 333

17 The Tristan Project: Time in Wagner and Viola Jeongwon Joe 358

18 "The Threshold of the Visible World": Wagner, Bill Viola, and Tristan Lawrence Kramer 381

Postlude Looking for Richard: An Archival Search for Wagner Warren M. Sherk 408

Epilogue Some Thoughts about Wagner and Cinema; Opera and Politics; Style and Reception Sander L. Gilman 419

Appendix Interview with Bill Viola Jeongwon Joe 431

Filmography Jeongwon Joe Warren M. Sherk Scott D. Paulin 441

List of Contributors 457

Index 461

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