Parsifal (1982) Poster


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Doing Wagner's "Parsifal" and More.....too much more.
dnjjr25 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
N.B.: Spoilers within. Assigning an artistic director to an operatic production naturally and inevitably means you are going to get a piece of that director's mind. But directing a Wagner opera is an especially tricky task, as he was perhaps the most explicit opera composer in terms of what things should look like and how they should unfold. Hans-Jurgen Syberberg loads this filming of "Parsifal," Wagner's final masterpiece, with enough extraneous ideas to cause it to nearly burst at the seams. You get more than a piece of the director: you get the whole fatted hog and then some. Syberberg is to be admired for his penchant for tearing back the covers on the uglier aspects of German history. But does it work to meld that desire to a Wagner opera already brimming with its own concepts?

The scenes with the knights of the Holy Grail in Acts I and III are especially laden with visual allegory and symbolism. These are drawn come from Wagner's own time, from long before, and go well beyond. If you know what these things mean, they can enrich Syberberg's vision for you (but not necessarily enhance Wagner's vision); if you don't know what they mean, they're simply confusing, if not annoying. I won't bother uncoiling the plot of the opera here. Suffice it to say it is a typical Wagnerian synthesis of diverse elements, in this case a blending of the Holy Grail legend with the principles, practices, and pageantry of Christianity. The theme of redemption plays the main role here, as in nearly every Wagner opera.

I personally had to sweat to get through Syberberg's first act (amidst my jarring acclimation, the music saved the day). But Act II picks up the pace. Here we meet Klingsor, the evil sorcerer, out to entrap the wandering "innocent fool" Parsifal. The greatest seductress of them all, Kundry, will be used to entice him to the dark side. After an initial dalliance with more symbols, these get stripped away, and the long, gorgeous, transformational duet between young fool and temptress really takes off. Finally the film starts working a genuine magic, and it is chiefly due to Syberberg's choosing to set things naturally and simply. Suddenly the acting starts to work (the expressive actress Edith Clever and the luscious soprano of Yvonne Minton team to create a wondrous Kundry); suddenly the music seems to come to life and make vivid the inner turmoil of the two characters. The camera work stays simple and quietly fluid. In other words, Wagner is allowed to tell his story more on his own terms. And it works beautifully. For me it was the most engrossing part of the film.

With the re-entrance of the knights in part 2 of Act III, the weird extraneous symbolisms unfortunately creep back in. Some other loony Syberberg ideas: using a huge Wagner death-mask as a major set-piece (causing the composer's protuberant proboscis to loom comically large); dressing the Act III knights in all manner of costumes, wigs, and makeup (what is the director saying? That the knights are a bunch of buffoons? That they express multiple or timeless layers of significance beyond their surface functions? It's anybody's guess); the insertion – just after the incredibly touching baptism of Kundry by Parsifal – of rear-projection footage of the conductor rehearsing, in modern-day realism, his orchestra in the studio (this completely snapped my dramatic thread, requiring a few minutes to regroup); the complete avoidance of having any time pass between Acts II and III (when we meet the knight and "narrator" Gurnemanz again, he should be an old, old man, and Parsifal should re-emerge as a world-weary but wiser middle-aged man); but certainly the most bizarre stroke is to split the Parsifal character into male/female components. Some find this the most brilliant stroke. No doubt I can credit Karin Krick, who plays "Parsifal 2," with acting of strength and dignity (she also happens to be the best lip-syncher of the whole cast). But please...Wagner's conception of Parsifal is already so complex. His growth from a completely innocent boy who knows nothing of his past, to his breakthrough realization in Act II of what Amfortas's eternal wound means and how it has become his own, to his return as the great Redeemer of Act III – this is the journey of a masterfully constructed character. The bi-sexual emphasis is just gimmicky and absurd. (And what's with this nonsense about a homoerotic Gurnemanz and Parsifal?? Can't we just accept a mentor/apprentice relationship, which is marvelously reversed in Act III?)

The Monte Carlo Philharmonic under Armin Jordan plays with passion and beauty (though the chorus is disappointing). But after watching this film I only wanted to whip out my Solti-led recording (HIGHLY recommended) and get my Wagnerian bearings straight again. The film experience for me ranged from bizarre to entertaining to infuriating. To Syberberg's credit, he's created a visually arresting work, and he certainly offers a unique take on an important opera. But instead of sticking to "Parsifal," he seems to have wanted to bring in all things Wagnerian: the man, the life, the enormous influence...all of it in crude symbolic code. "Parsifal" the opera is already full of weighty symbolism: the Grail, the Spear, the Holy Sacraments, baptism, Amfortas's ever-bleeding wound, Klingsor's self-castration, the Kiss, Kundry's Curse, and on and on. This is not to mention the *musical* symbolism sounding constantly in the score, in the form of Wagner's leitmotif system. "Parsifal" itself is one huge symbol! Getting back to my first-paragraph question, Syberberg's whole hog is all way too much for me. But if this project sounds like something to tickle your fancy, then go for it. I won't recommend just staying away from this; you may find yourself heartily satisfied. Or if you need something to crack your Wagner barrier, try it...but please, please, don't stop here. "Parsifal" is in a late, very ripe league of its own.
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Disturbing but Beautiful Version of Wagner's Parsifal
gpadillo10 November 2003
While lovers of Parsifal may be considered a minority, those of us who like Syberberg's film might be rarer still!

Of the title character Wagner wrote to Mathilde Wesendonk:

"Parsifal must carry the interest of a major character if he is not arrive at the end as a deus ex machine . . . (his) development must be brought back to the foreground and for this I have no option, no broad scheme such as Wolfram could command; I must so compress it all into three main situations of drastic substance that the profound, ramifying meaning is presented clearly and distinctly."

With "drastic" and "distinctly" in mind, Syberberg's use of both male and female actors as Parsifal seems to me a brilliantly cinematic means of achieving the result Wagner was after.

Every era believes itself to be a superior civilization to those prior to it and, if for no other reason than having distance and evolution on its side, the assumption has some credence. In this regard, Wagner saw himself as being somewhat benevolent in his forgiveness of Wolfram whom he admired (obviously) but viewed as a product "of a barbaric and utterly confused age." Nonetheless - with irony unintended - Wagner ridicules Wolfram, calling him on his irresolute nature in the poem, his ideals wavering between the purely pagan and those of a strong Christian nature (as though either of these are mutually exclusive - as I always say, Jesus and Santa Claus keep each other in business).

This irony actually hits with full force since Wagner himself substituted Wolfram's Grail with the chalice which Joseph of Arimethea caught the blood of the crucified Jesus, thus altering the Grail Hall ceremony of Wolfram's "barbaric" paganism into a ritual unmistakably and obviously (right down to its text) Christian. (This, by the way, served to further drive the stake between Wagner and Nietsche's once very strong friendship.)

I like Syberberg's use of Third Reich imagery in the Act I transformation music. Initially it horrified me (to the point of my eyes popping out of my head and my flesh getting all clammy-cold). Like Wagner changing Wolfram to suit his dramatic needs without changing the actual shape of the tale's intent, Syberberg's arresting imagery here - in a matter of only minutes - pulls together a history into a quick, timely shock of recognition that hits squarely and which burns its imagery forever into the mind.

I agree with some critics that fetishization is not too strong a term to describe what Syberberg does in his film. Certainly Amfortas' own endless proclamations of his guilt and unworthiness can be recognized in all of us to varying degrees - Wagner's (and Syberberg's art merely expanding this. Here (I'm not sure why) I often find myself thinking of Penelope; wearing her mournful chastity for Odysseus for twenty years, and that noble mourning eventually takes on other qualities; although still admirable also smacks of arrogance: self-induced martyrdom. Even so, it does not fundamentally diminish the character's integrity or original intent. Rather it complicates the person, adding endless facets - as well as a blatant human face - to that which may outwardly appear simple - but makes us aware there is far, far more.

I love this movie, but certainly can understand those who find it difficult (if not impossible) to warm up to it. Give it another chance! It may just grab you.

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The pacing is glacial
Varlaam18 August 1998
Admittedly, Parsifal is not an opera that can appeal to everyone, although it is a favourite of mine, Knappertsbusch, 1951, in particular. Syberberg's entire approach is so static. Whenever the music suddenly begins to swell ... Syberberg keeps the cast moving at the same pace. The takes on Amfortas and Klingsor are endless. Whatever happened to film editing? The result is physically exhausting to watch. The viewer is never spiritually transported. Your impulse is to rush home and play a recording again to confirm that Wagner got it right, Syberberg got it wrong. And that set decoration with those "clever" reminders of Wagner's anti-Semitism -- will there ever be a viewer of this film with no prior knowledge of Wagner?
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Visually stunning, if sometimes exhausting
TheLittleSongbird22 June 2011
I love Wagner a great deal, but boy don't his operas take a lot of stamina to perform and I would be lying if I said they were easy to direct too. Parsifal is difficult to pull off effectively, and while it is flawed this production does commendably.

Where this Parsifal falls down is in the pacing. It is a lengthy opera, but in some ways the pace is very glacial here making the first act especially exhausting to watch on first viewing. Then there is some of the symbolism. I want to credit Syberberg for his work here, he is a clearly ambitious director and a lot of scenes are very well staged. This Parsifal is very visually striking too with wonderful costumes, sets and lighting particularly in Act 2 and there is some clever video directing, but as intriguing and as striking as the symbolism is, considering Parsifal is quite a symbolic work there were times when it got too much.

The cast are mostly very good. I wasn't however taken with Michael Kutter's Parsifal 1, he seems uncomfortable here. Faring much better though is Karin Krick as Parsifal 2, who is extraordinarily good. Of the cast for me the standouts are Robert Lloyd's superb Gurnemanz and Aughe Haugland's truly excellent Klingsor. Also Edith Clever is a very effective Kundry.

On a musical front I have nothing to fault this production. Then again, this is Wagner, all the haunting yet very beautiful motifs and lush orchestration are there. The orchestra perform this score wonderfully, and the conducting is adept without plodding too much.

Overall, a flawed production, but a good and interesting one. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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Despite all, it works!
standardmetal31 May 2002
updated January 1st, 2006

Parsifal is one of my two favorite Wagner operas or music dramas, to be more accurate, (Meistersinger is the other.) though it's hard to imagine it as the "top of anyone's pops". The libretto, by the composer as usual, is a muddle of religion, paganism, eroticism, and possibly even homo-eroticism, and its length may make it seem to the audience like hearing paint dry.

Wagner, being a famous anti-Semite, (Klingsor may be one of his surrogate Jewish villains.) naturally entrusted the premiere to an unconverted (not for want of RW's trying!) Hermann Levi, who was his favorite conductor! (Go figure!) Kundry, a most mixed-up-gal and another likely Jewish surrogate, is both villainous or benevolent, depending on the scene.

Considering that many video versions of Parsifal seem on the stodgy side, this film of the opera is, in comparison, a breath of fresh air. Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, the director, has brought considerable imagination to it but it's hard to know why he made some of his choices. For example: the notorious dual Parsifals (of each gender!), the puppets, the death-mask-of-Wagner set and various dolls and symbols such as the Nazi swastika in one of the traveling scenes. (If I remember, the "real" Engelbert Humperdinck wrote the actual music to pad out the scene changes.) Though Wagner himself died much too early to be an actual Nazi, many of his descendants (As well as his second wife Cosima.) were at least fellow-travelers, including their grandson Wolfgang Wagner who still runs the Bayreuth Festival at an advanced age. In fact, Wolfgang's son Gottfried Wagner, in complete opposition to his father, has tried to come to terms honestly with his great-grandfather.

Syberberg, too, seems politically ambiguous from what I've read. In 1977, he made a well-known film on Hitler, "Hitler: ein Film aus Deutschland" (Sometimes called "Our Hitler" in English.). Since it lasts all of 8 hours and hasn't been widely distributed, most people have not seen it (including myself.).

Armin Jordan, the conductor of the audio CD on which this film is based, plays Amfortas (sung by Wolfgang Schöne) Edith Clever (Yvonne Minton) plays Kundry, Michael Kutter and Karin Krick play the dual Parsifals (Both sung by Reiner Goldberg.!) and Robert Lloyd and Aage Haugland both play and sing Gurnemanz and Klingsor.

Though the opera takes place over a long period of time and all (except Kundry?) have been described as having aged considerably between Acts 2 and 3, no one looks a day older by the end of the opera. (The magic of the Grail? In this opera the Grail is the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper and not Mary Magdalene as in more recent times, an idea I find preposterous!).

The conducting and singing are all quite serviceable and the DVD seems to have improved the sound, if not the picture, to a great extent. (Yes, I agree that "Kna's" approach is superior, even on the second, stereo, version but he is probably superior to all recorded versions on the whole.)

Not a Parsifal for all Wagnerites but I think it works quite well as a filmed opera.
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An Old Favorite Dates Badly, Sorry to Say.
tostinati29 December 2004
Back when I saw this film when it came out first run at the local art theater, it blew me away. When I tried to get into it again after locating a DVD copy, I couldn't sit through it. Most of the trappings of Syberburg's much-vaunted style have the feel of artsy gimmicks of his hot period, the late 70s and early 80s. The puppets, which are part of this scene, don't bother me half as much as the projection of images over everything on stage, and the shifting video slide show backgrounds. This technique seems to have been a solution that Syberburg believed in deeply-- and to feel he was leading the avant pack in using. But a solution to what, I'm not sure. To break up basically static tableau setups, yes. To speak to the wide-wandering emotional interior state of the films participants, certainly. But why make the film auditorium-bound in the first place if it's restless, ceaseless movement you crave? --Budget limitations? --Because you feel challenged or amused tinkering around with active/static dynamics? Either of these reasons is acceptable to me, but I don't find the fruit of this experimentation especially successful, or more, very durable.

The music is great, and I DO yearn for something more eccentric or intense than the standard PBS/Met production with guys standing around bellowing in obvious crepe whiskers and stage dirt. But this film goes arty in a way that doesn't speak to many people any more, and as far as I'm concerned, it way overshoots the crazed artist mark. A little less please.
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Quite literally, a travesty
ahearn0224 June 2002
It must be assumed that those who praised this film ("the greatest filmed opera ever," didn't I read somewhere?) either don't care for opera, don't care for Wagner, or don't care about anything except their desire to appear Cultured. Either as a representation of Wagner's swan-song, or as a movie, this strikes me as an unmitigated disaster, with a leaden reading of the score matched to a tricksy, lugubrious realisation of the text.

It's questionable that people with ideas as to what an opera (or, for that matter, a play, especially one by Shakespeare) is "about" should be allowed anywhere near a theatre or film studio; Syberberg, very fashionably, but without the smallest justification from Wagner's text, decided that Parsifal is "about" bisexual integration, so that the title character, in the latter stages, transmutes into a kind of beatnik babe, though one who continues to sing high tenor -- few if any of the actors in the film are the singers, and we get a double dose of Armin Jordan, the conductor, who is seen as the face (but not heard as the voice) of Amfortas, and also appears monstrously in double exposure as a kind of Batonzilla or Conductor Who Ate Monsalvat during the playing of the Good Friday music -- in which, by the way, the transcendant loveliness of nature is represented by a scattering of shopworn and flaccid crocuses stuck in ill-laid turf, an expedient which baffles me. In the theatre we sometimes have to piece out such imperfections with our thoughts, but I can't think why Syberberg couldn't splice in, for Parsifal and Gurnemanz, mountain pasture as lush as was provided for Julie Andrews in Sound of Music...

The sound is hard to endure, the high voices and the trumpets in particular possessing an aural glare that adds another sort of fatigue to our impatience with the uninspired conducting and paralytic unfolding of the ritual. Someone in another review mentioned the 1951 Bayreuth recording, and Knappertsbusch, though his tempi are often very slow, had what Jordan altogether lacks, a sense of pulse, a feeling for the ebb and flow of the music -- and, after half a century, the orchestral sound in that set, in modern pressings, is still superior to this film.
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Good Wagner, insipid Syberberg
ignatius_reilly18 March 2004
Today (1994), the "Recommendations" associated with Parsifal was: "If you like this title, we also recommend... Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)". Well, if you liked "Indiana Jones", you may not necessarily enjoy this movie.

A rather laborious staging. All those supposedly clever references about nazism, sexual ambivalence and all that are heavily pounded upon, although they do not present the slightest interest.

Still, the libretto's poetry is intense and beautiful, and the music is probably superb (the soundtrack of the Brussels cinematheque copy is in tatters)
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Syberbergian Seeds The Size of Gorilla Nuts
thetotheads2 April 2007
This DVD broke my resin-caked heart. Hans Jurgen Syberberg holds a special place in that same sticky heart for directing the longest stoner flick every made, the massive nine-hour Hitler - Ein Film Aus Deutschland. You had to have a kitchen garbage bag chock full of weed to get through all of it, but it is sooo worth it. So I was over the moon when Syberberg had directed a movie of Wagner's Parcifal but not because of the double-dose of self importance one gets from watching both New German Cinema and opera (the more bored you are, the more important you become for sitting through it). No, I was looking forward to puppets and outrageous visuals staged and projected onto those trademark black backgrounds, with a big buttery snow globe to balance it out. Syberberg is obsessed with snow globes and the one in Parcifal is a beaut: a Shining like hedge maze, covered in snow, in the middle of which a giant silver tree with no leaves grows, a fitting symbol for the innocent child-knight's journey to self-discovery through incest. It's great to watch stoned; Rosebud meets kind bud. We also have Wagner's death mask forming the landscape, with the decapitated heads of 19th century German superstars (Marx, Goethe, Nietchze und alles) lined in a row against puppets plunging drills into huge bloody ears . Just makes you're lungs water thinking about it, huh? Well, forget it. The fatal flaw of Parcifal is the singing. Every time someone sings Syberberg parks his camera on them and waits till they finish. And since this is opera, they never finish. He will lay a close-up on you and let his foghorns yap until your t-shirt is covered in drool. Then, in the rare instances no one is singing , the screen takes off into the Syberbergian stuff of dreams. Then someone starts huffing and the whole things crashes to Earth. I don't even think Syberberg was able to get to everything he wanted to in this picture; Hell, there's only one Swastika. How can you have a Syberberg picture, especially one of an opera who's meaning was high-jacked by the Nazis, and have only one Swastika? It's like having a Cheech and Chong picture without some weirded out vehicle for them to drive around in for the whole movie. Even the sex change has nearly no impact. Instead of close-ups, the director would have done better by doing most of the songs as voice-overs, showing the scenes the singers sing about instead of the singer. Or Syberberg could have had his tab of acid and dropped it too, if he had projected film images of the singers over otherworldly scenes of wonder. But no, instead we have a big, sticky kind bud of a dope picture that is riddled with seeds the size of gorilla nuts, nuts called songs. Also, this DVD is merely a transfer of the VHS version that came out in the late Eighties. This means it's full screen and you have to deal with the Nazi -era translation of this opera, something which I'm not sure is done on purpose; it's ironic either way. This film does deserve a wide-screen treatment, though, as well as new subtitles. Mein Deutsche Grammatik Sheisshaus ist, but even twice- baked Tiskit could tell that what they were singing did match what was on screen, especially during the pop-up incest segments. The great visuals over the instrumentals rate a full nine leaves, the best you can get, but the singing parts are little but seeds and stems. So, let's average it out and call it Four Leaves: Worthwhile. Will get a small, pleasant hum from.
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It's opera, enough said
Horst_In_Translation17 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Parsifal" is a work by famous German composer Richard Wagner and as an anniversary tribute, North German filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Syberberg decided to film a more modern version of the material. The most important aspect first: This is more than 4 hours of people singing instead of talking as a way to communicate. This is absolutely not for everybody and I include myself with that description as you probably already guessed from my rating. I ended up not caring for the story and for the material and this was a most boring watch that dragged so much from start to finish. I am certainly biased as I am not an opera fan at all, but if I watch it, then I prefer to see it live and not on screen. I like musicals though, so this attitude is far from enough to enjoy this work we have here. But looking at Syberberg's other works ("Hitler"), I guess we can be glad that this "only" went on for 255 minutes. The female lead received some awards attention. Many of the actors in here are almost entirely unknown as they are stage actors and not film actors. This is a stage performance too, only difference is that it was filmed and I guess this is also the only reason why it exists on IMDb unlike many other theater plays. And Syberberg's name also helps probably. For me it was a dreadful watch and nobody other than the greatest opera and Wagner fans should go check it out.
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Turn off the English Subtitles!
Tahhh20 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This very peculiar setting of Wagner's last opera definitely grew on me. When I first saw it, I was somewhat annoyed by many of the films surrealistic images, and felt that far too much was superimposed upon the story. However, if you can put up with a fair amount of rather recherché "gimmicks," I think you will find that the film DOES manage to capture the very strange, other-worldly atmosphere of the opera, and that there are moments which are particularly fine.

Personally, I never really understood the role of Kundry until I saw how Edith Clever portrayed her. Her performance (a lip-synchronized mime of the singing voice of Yvonne Minton) is nothing short of dazzling, from end to end, and alone justifies the hours it takes to absorb the film.

Another reason to delight in this film is that it captures the spectacular interpretation of Robert Lloyd of the crucial role of Gurnemanz, one which Lloyd has performed to a crisp at opera houses throughout the world. I have been privileged to enjoy him in the role of Gurnemanz on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera several times, and the lusciousness of his voice, and the warm, fatherliness of his interpretation of this noble character really needed to be preserved, as did his performance in the character's two major monologues, the Karfreitag scene and the recounting of the prophecy in Act 1.

The version I have seen was a videotape made for America, and so there were subtitles which, alas, could not be done away with. This is especially unfortunate because the translation used is very inaccurate and forces an extremely Christian interpretation on a film which is already forcing layers of interpretation on the opera. This seemed to me to be quite contrary both to Wagner's clear AVOIDANCE of Christianity, and his very deliberate attempt to "generalize" the Christian elements of the story. (See footnote with spoiler at the end of this review.) I find it nearly impossible, when viewing a film with subtitles, to keep from absorbing them, and strongly recommend that, if in the DVD versions you have the ability to turn the subtitles off, you do so, and instead, if the opera is unfamiliar to you, that you read the libretto carefully beforehand.

The bottom line is that there is much in the film which I dislike, and would just as soon have seen done differently...but it has risen steadily in my estimation over the years since I first saw it, and I find myself drawn to enjoy it again and again.


FOOTNOTE CONTAINING A SPOILER: A good example would be Kundry's famous line, "I saw him...him...and laughed." This gets translated, in the subtitles, for reasons which escape me, as "I saw the Savior's face." It is especially irritating to me, because throughout the libretto, Wagner very deliberately and carefully refers to this unseen character WHO NEED NOT BE THE BIBLICAL Jesus as "der Heiland," i.e., the German for "The Healer"--a reference to the wound of Amfortas, and to all wounds and maladies and the need for healing.
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The Bizarre Syberberg Parsifal
FloatingOpera714 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Parsifal (1982) Starring Michael Kutter, Armin Jordan, Robert Lloyd, Martin Sperr, Edith Clever, Aage Haugland and the voices of Reiner Goldberg, Yvonne Minton, Wolfgang Schone, Director Hans-Jurgen Syberberg.

Straight out of the German school of film, the kind that favored tons of symbolism and Ingmar Bergmanesque surrealism, came this 1982 film of Wagner's final masterpiece- Parsifal, written to correspond with Good Friday/Easter and the consecration of the Bayreuth Opera House. This film follows the musical score and plot accurately but the manner in which it was filmed and performed is bold and avant-garde and no other Parsifal takes the crown in its bizarre cinematography. Syberberg is known for controversial films. Prior to this film he had released films about Hitler and Nazism, Richard Wagner and his personal Anti-Semitism and a documentary about Winifred Wagner, one of his grand-daughters. This film is possibly disturbing in many aspects. Parsifal (sung by Reiner Goldberg but acted by Michael Kutter) is a male throughout the first part of the film and then, after the enchantment of Kundry's kiss, is transformed into a female. This gender-bending element displays the feminine/masculine/ying-yang nature of the quest for the Holy Grail, which serves all mankind and redeems it through Christ's blood. In the pagan sorcerer Klingsor's fortress, there are photographs of such notoriously sinister figures as Hitler, Nietzche, Cosima Wagner and Wagner's mistress Matilde Wesendock. The Swaztika flag hangs outside the fortress. Parsifal journeys into the 19th and 20th century throughout the film. The tempting Flower Maidens are in the nude. Kundry is portrayed as a sort of beautiful but corrupt Mary Magdalene or Eve from Genesis (played by Edith Clever but beautifully sung by mezzo-soprano Yvonne Minton). Ultimately, this film is for fans of this type of bizarre Germanic/European symbolic metafiction and for intellectuals who appreciate the symbolism, the history and lovers of Wagner opera. Indeed, the singing is grand and compelling. Reiner Goldberg's Parsifal is a focused and intense voice but it lacks the depth and overall greatness of the greater Parsifals of the stage - James King, Wolfgang Windgassen, Rene Kollo and today's own Placido Domingo. Yvone Minton is a sensual-voiced, dramatic and exciting Kundry, delving into her tormented state perfectly. While the production is certainly unorthodox and as un-Wagnerian as it can possibly get (Wagner's concept was Christian ceremonial pomp with Grails, spears, castles, Knights and wounded kings, a dark sorcerer, darkness turning into light, etc typical Wagnerian themes) is still an enjoyable, art-house film.
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