PINA — THE CRITERION COLLECTION
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Unlike Herzog however, Wenders may want to consider sticking exclusively to this type of storytelling in light of his recent failing efforts with narrative film. His last film "Palermo Shooting" (2008) is a film better left forgotten.
In discovering the human and artistic impact of his friend, the famed late choreographer Pina Bausch, Wenders takes a unique approach that involves set piece reenactments of Bausch dance routines performed by her fiercely devoted company of dancers, the Tanztheater Wuppertal. Bausch started the company in 1973.
Wenders puts state-of-the-art 3D technology to ideal usage in capturing the dynamic vibrancy of transformative dance numbers that reveal the personalities of the individual dancers, as well as the bold vision of their artistic muse. Interspersed between the dances are brief direct-to-camera reminisces from individual dancers about Pina that tell the story of an artistic force of nature who lived and breathed nothing but dance.
Wenders had been in discussions with Bausch for many years about making such a film. Sadly, the visionary choreographer passed away in 2009 just as "Pina" was entering pre-production. Audiences will find much inspiration in the film's many passionate solo, pas de deux, and group dances performed in public spaces and in various theatrical settings.
Natural elements such as dirt and water take on mystical qualities in dynamic dance performances that truly take your breath away. There are many aural, visual, and visceral surprises in this sublime film. If you aren’t a fan of dance, you will be after seeing Pina’s magnificent dances performed by dancers who worked with her for decades.
"Pina" was one of the highlights of the 2011 New York Film Festival.
Not Rated. 106 mins.