More films have been made about Richard Wagner (and his works) than any other composer - not that you'd guess it from the peculiar dearth of Wagnerversary screenings. This is soon to be remedied.
First up is Der fliegende Holländer at the Barbican on 7 December. Joachim Herz's 1964 film (extract above) is a movie version of the opera, mimed to a soundtrack from the Gewandhaus Orchester and a host of DDR star singers. By the time he made the film, Herz had directed three different stage productions of the opera. Instead of shooting one of these, he wanted to "create images from the music, which then act as if the music had been created from the images." The largely realistic result is interleaved with ambitious dream sequences for Senta.
On 12 January, the Barbican show Carl Fröhlich's 1913 silent movie The Life and Works of Richard Wagner with live piano accompaniment. The 100-year old film, the first screen biography of the composer, is available online without soundtrack.
Finally, the Institut français is showing Patrice Chéreau's legendary Bayreuth Ring over four nights from 20 to 23 January. The Ciné Lumière's comfortable seats and excellent cafe make it the ideal venue, but bear in mind that the stated running times on the site don't include intervals