ul. Jaskółcza 1, GDAŃSK - DOLNE MIASTO

17 October 2013, at 7 pm

1985, 131 min.



Richard Wagner’s Letters to the Women is the Wagnerian part of Syberberg’s larger project entitled The Night, a six-hour monolog by one of his favourite actors, Edith Clever. This poetic performance consists of fragments of texts from Goethe and Kleist, Plato and Novalis and Hölderlin, from Jean Paul to the Indian chief Seattle and Hans Jürgen Syberberg.

The same year, the director produced another ‘project’ with the same actor, entitled Edith Clever Reads Joyce. Analogously to the later A Dream, What Else? (1994), Letters is a filmed performance, Syberberg’s filmed installation.

However, unlike his ‘German Trilogy’ or Parsifal, the spectacle focuses on the figure of Clever and the contents of Wagner’s letters to his friends, lovers, wives (including Minny, Cosimy Wagner, Judith Gautier, Mathilde Wesendonck), King Ludwig II and Franz Liszt. To Syberberg, The Night project is the ultimate fusion of film and theatre, a total work, a synthesis of the arts he set out to realize through his life’s work in film art.

The film screened at the Cannes film Festival in 1985.


Documentary film. 1985

35 mm, colour/b&w, 360 min.

Director: Hans Jürgen Syberberg

Screenplay: Hans Jürgen Syberberg

Production: Film GmbH München, ZDF Mainz, ORF Wien

Producer: Hans-Jürgen Syberberg

Cinematography: Xaver Schwarzenberger

Editing: Jutta Brandstaedter

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach (Das Wohltemperierte Klavier), Richard Wagner (Tristan und Isolde, Götterdämmerung).

Sound: Lothar Mankewitz

Cast: Edith Clever

Texts: Seattle/Smith, Eduard Mörike, Novalis, Friedrich Nietzsche, Heinrich Heine, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, William Shakespeare, Jean Paul, Heinrich von Kleist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Richard Wagner, Hölderlin, Platon, Samuel Beckett, Friedrich Schiller, Aeschylus, Martin Heidegger, Pythagoras, Sophocles, Claudius, Ingeborg Bachmann, Marianne von Willemer und Hans Jürgen Syberberg

Municipal Institution of Culture