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Untitled Document

►Programme Symposium Download (PDF)

►Complete Programme Download (PDF)

SYMPOSIUM [Events in German only.]
"Richard Wagner und das Kino der Dekadenz"
(“Richard Wagner and the Cinema of Decadence”)

April 27, Start: 11:30 am, Zeughauskino


In several texts, Friedrich Nietzsche accused Richard Wagner of decadence. For him, this term doesn't just stand for decay and decline. Decadence is an expression of the modern, where effect counts more than depth and where life is no longer perceived as a whole, but rather in slivers: “The part comes to rule over the whole, the phrase over the melody, the moment over time (and tempo as well), pathos over ethos” (Friedrich Nietzsche to Carl Fuchs, 1886). Cinema, which enlarges every human impulse to immeasurable proportions, overpowers the eyes as well as the ears and stirs audiences to tears in a dark hall, and which basically wouldn't exist without pathos and emotions, moves inherently in the realm of decadence and was thus also confronted with this accusation. Departing from Nietzsche's critique of Wagner, we will examine to what extent his analysis also applies to a certain concept of film, one which adopts Wagnerian topoi, musical or human constellations or aesthetic concepts. The concept of decadence might provide us with an important instrument to explain cinema's great affinity cinema for Richard Wagner. The spectrum of themes to be discussed extends from the longing for death and “fatal attractions” in film noir, over stories of decline in directors like Luchino Visconti and Hans Jürgen Syberberg, all the way to echoes of Wagner in horror and fantasy film.



11:30 am, Greeting Jörg Frieß, Director of the Zeughauskino
Curators' Introduction

12:00 am, Andreas Urs Sommer, Freiburg im Breisgau:
„Nietzsche – Wagner – Dekadenz“ (“Nietzsche – Wagner – Decadence”)

1:00 pm, Bernd Kiefer, Mainz:
„Verfallsgeschichte(n). Visconti und Syberberg“ (“Stories of Decline. Visconti and Syberberg”)

2:00 pm, Lunch Break

3:00 pm, Peter Moormann, Berlin:
„Wagners Klangwelten im Fantasy-Film“ (“Wagner's Sound Worlds in Fantasy Film”)

4:00 pm, Elisabeth Bronfen, Zürich:
„Fatale Liebesspiele: Wagners Film Noir“ (“Fatal Attractions: Wagner's Film Noir”)

5:00 pm, Coffe Break

5:30 pm, Jörg Buttgereit, Berlin and Marcus Stiglegger, Siegen:
„Monströses Pathos. Wagnerianische Monsterfilmsoundtracks von Akira Ifukube“ (“Monstrous Pathos. Akira Ifukube's Wagnerian Monster Film Soundtracks”)

Entrance to the Symposium is Free.
Please register per email:




April 26, 9:00 pm, Zeughauskino
USA 1951, D: Albert Lewin, 123‘, 35mm, OV w/ Spanish subtitles

Introduction: Elisabeth Bronfen


April 27, 7:30 pm, Zeughauskino
IT/CH/BRD 1969, D: Luchino Visconti, 154', 35mm, OV (English)

Introduction: Bernd Kiefer

Tickets for the Films 5,- EUR


►Programme Symposium Download (PDF)

►Complete Programme Download (PDF)


Wagner-Kino Head english-7