Pina (U)

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Pina

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Apr 19 2011

Words are the enemy in Wim Wenders’s mysterious, submersive and captivating 3D tribute to German dance pioneer Pina Bausch, who died in 2009 just as Wenders, the director of ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ and ‘Wings of Desire’, was beginning to make this film. One by one, the dancers of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the company she ran for 36 years, talk of her unwillingness to explain herself in words. ‘Dance for love,’ one of her colleagues remembers her saying, recalling it as one of the few instructions he received from Bausch in years of working with her. ‘Go on searching’ and ‘What are we longing for?’ are two other rare comments which the dancers recall her sharing with them.

Wenders takes his cue from Bausch’s Trappist approach to making art. We don’t hear or see him. And while he nearly embraces a talking-head element in his otherwise deeply unconventional film, he pulls back from the actual talking bit: we see Bausch’s colleagues, filmed in close-up for Wenders’s camera, but they are silent and we only hear their words. There’s also little of Bausch herself apart from a few cleverly inserted snippets of footage of her dancing or sitting, smoking, behind her desk in the rehearsal room.

Where words have real power is in the memories of Bausch we hear from her dancers. From those we can imagine an intuitive and collaborative artist – a woman whose presence is powerful even in her absence. Mostly, though, Wenders gives us performance. We see extracts from four of Bausch’s pieces, ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’, ‘Kontakthof’, ‘Café Muller’ and ‘Vollmond’, performed at the Tanztheater Wuppertal. Helped by a sensitive, uncynical use of 3D technology, these sequences draw us deeply into the work and are as far as possible from any traditional idea of ‘filmed theatre’. Wenders takes his camera on stage so that in a scene from ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’ the dancers interact with the lens as if the technology is a performer, not an interloper.

We go outside too, into the post-war, rebuilt and sun-dappled mittel-European mundanity of Wuppertal, near Dusseldorf, and it’s here that the film takes on a magical quality as solo dancers or pairs of dancers perform pieces to express their memories of Bausch. One dances on pointe, with raw veal in her shoes, in front of a factory. Another performs on the grass verge of a dual carriageway. A finale sees the entire ensemble perform along the ridge of a quarry.

The beauty of Wenders’s film is that his imagery and gaze on Bausch’s work has the same essential, uncluttered and wryly funny quality as the work itself. Some will come to this film full of knowledge of Bausch. For others, it will be as fresh and novel as Wenders’s approach to turning dance into cinema. Both, I think, will find it entrancing and truly inspiring.
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Release details

Rated:

U

UK release:

Fri Apr 22, 2011

Duration:

104 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Wim Wenders

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

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LiveReviews|16
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Dolores

Very disappointing. 3 D is so overrated so unnecessary. The best scenes are those with Pina herself: in those moments one is transfixed, transported to another level of being, feeling and masterful artistry. The documentary elements are overall depressingly vapid. The dancers are posed and passive, their comments not directly spoken: instead we hear them as voice overs, in dirge like cadences, flat affectless. I expected so much more from Wenders.

Habib Rahmeh

This is definitely the best dance movie ever made ! one thing is that movies will never be as good as seeing performances live on stage , you always lose something. But for a movie this is PERFECT, it has so much feelings and subtleties A MUST SEE :)

Habib Rahmeh

This is definitely the best dance movie ever made ! one thing is that movies will never be as good as seeing performances live on stage , you always lose something. But for a movie this is PERFECT, it has so much feelings and subtleties A MUST SEE :)

Liz

I like dance, I like dialogue with the audience, but where was the interpreter? There were to few words to explain. I saw it in a DVD night a few friends have, some not alien to arts cinema. I saw it as it was highly recommended by a friend.. We turned it off for something totally in english! Maybe not so deep...(if I could fathom the depths that is!) but enjoyable.. I am clear Pina was a very interesting lady. Maybe more of a documentary style would have suited me

Kaye

I thought this amazing. I have never seen dance before where I felt it was left up to me to interpret it at will and in it I saw all facets of the male/female relationship. From violence and abuse to absolute trust, to the endurance of the spirit and to pure joy. I could go on and explain my own thoughts in detail but I'd love to see someone else's interpretation of each part in detail. It has opened my mind to watching more variety of dance than I was ever used to, never before realising the true passion of the creator.

Kaye

I thought this amazing. I have never seen dance before where I felt it was left up to me to interpret it at will and in it I saw all facets of the male/female relationship. From violence and abuse to absolute trust, to the endurance of the spirit and to pure joy. I could go on and explain my own thoughts in detail but I'd love to see someone else's interpretation of each part in detail. It has opened my mind to watching more variety of dance than I was ever used to, never before realising the true passion of the creator.

ribrack

Depiction of the seasons by the line of interviewees at the beginning and end was great. Otherwise, the dance was too segmented and the interviewees too repetitive. It's good that they liked and loved this woman but the many voices didn't say much beyond that. As a eulogy, it was simplistic and as an obituary inadequate.

peta

For someone not into dance, but studying 3d film, myself & my friends were blown away, captivated, entranced & stirred by this film. It has a magical quality in its posthumous stance & the presence of Pina lives on in the legacy she left her gorgeous dancers. Do not miss this!

peta

For someone not into dance, but studying 3d film, myself & my friends were blown away, captivated, entranced & stirred by this film. It has a magical quality in its posthumous stance & the presence of Pina lives on in the legacy she left her gorgeous dancers. Do not miss this!

Daniele Turi

Stunning film. Great structure, but not an easy film, which explains some of the negative comments: the review by the Time Out editor is very accurate and "words are the enemy" indeed in this film. PS Saw it in 3D at Ritzy and 3D really worked for this film.

Daniele Turi

Stunning film. Great structure, but not an easy film, which explains some of the negative comments: the review by the Time Out editor is very accurate and "words are the enemy" indeed in this film. PS Saw it in 3D at Ritzy and 3D really worked for this film.

Billy

First of all, each individual segment of dance is brilliant. The monologues by the dancers are occasionally interesting, kinda like interviews with members of a cult. But of whole thing if complete failure - self-indulgent with no attempt made what so ever to engage the audience. Finally if you do decide to see it DO NOT go to Curzon Mayfair - their 3D glasses are heavy and intensely uncomfortable. This film will benefit from being re-released in 2D

Andrew Marstrand

If you have any interest at all in dance, film or music, I urge you to see this film by any means necessary. Beautifully performed, photographed and edited, it is also very moving and profound. An unmissable film - one of my my top ten of all time.

Andrew Marstrand

If you have any interest at all in dance, film or music, I urge you to see this film by any means necessary. Beautifully performed, photographed and edited, it is also very moving and profound. An unmissable film - one of my my top ten of all time.