Film Review: Director Wim Wenders Celebrates Choreographer in 3-D ‘Pina’

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CHICAGO – Director Wim Wenders, famous for his magical takes on life and love in “Wings of Desire” and “Until the End of the World,” brings that same enchantment through a 3-D documentary about a rebellious and unusual German choreographer named Pina Bausch in “Pina.” Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The film is hypnotizing and mesmerizing, more so for aficionados of the dance. Pina Bausch (now deceased) was a visionary in the use of organic elements and movement designed around those elements. The dancers work their activities within the framework, and create stage/screen pictures of uncompromising distinction. The 3-D work enhances these works, but not so much to make it necessary. What is on-screen is a tribute from one old friend to another, and it succeeds in that wonderful energy.

Pina Bausch was a practitioner of the Tanztheater, which means dance theater. Throughout the documentary, her works are performed, and then commented upon by the dancers past and present that have expressed her point of view. This is pure theater, in the sense that the dance movements interpret the circumstance of the action communicated, such as “The Rite of Spring,” and “Cafe Mueller.” With no dialogue, and only facial and body movements, there are emotions of joy, renewal, sorrow and sin.

Wim Wenders uses the 3-D technology to enhance the dance theater, and the cameras go on stage with the lithe bodies of the dancers as only 3-D can. This is a use of this type of presentation that is not for action or animation purposes, but for a close-up examination of the choreographer’s art and the practitioners of the art. Through intense and emotional interviews, because Ms. Bausch died while the film was being made, the expression of “Pina” becomes all feeling and being.

“Pina” continues its limited release on January 20th. See local listings for show times, theaters and 3-D presentations. Featuring interviews with PIna Bausch, Regina Advento, Malou Airaudo, Ruth Amarante and Rainer Behr. Written and directed by Wim Wenders. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Pina”

The Synchronized Line Dance in ‘Pina’
The Synchronized Line Dance in ‘Pina’
Photo credit: Donata Wenders for IFC Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Pina”

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