Thursday, October 6, 2011

Get crazier: Wenders' "Pina"

Pina (Germany/France; 2011)
Written and directed by Wim Wenders
106 minutes
in German, English and French with English subtitles

Pina Bausch's surreal choreography and her matchless Tanztheater Wuppertal dancers look marvelous in Wim Wenders' 3D. If regular film and video typically flatten and evaporate live dance performance, 3D restores a good deal of the magic of the moment.

Here, in Bausch's primal Le Sacre du Printemps, is a woman scrunching around in a layer of red dirt; the palpable sensation of a hand slowly gliding over clothing and skin; a ripple of soft fabric as another dancer runs. Another woman gets separated from a crowd, and that isolation becomes more than an arrangement, an idea; it's personally threatening, our empathy, for once, no longer abstract sympathy.

In other places, bodies slither through the legs of chairs or hurl through the air to be caught as the viewer feels it all. The camera takes us close up, into the dances. Bausch's Romantic Vollmond ("Full Moon"), with its watery environment, revs into life in 3D, too. Wild gyrations and impulsive exaltations in the onstage pool of water and the artificial rain shower leave you, sitting at a supposedly safe distance, feeling good and splashed.

Brimming with energy, the film also includes excerpts from Café Müller and Kontakthof, the latter showing scenes performed by some of its interestingly age-variant casts. But if you love Bausch's work, you must see this film especially for the clips of Bausch's own exquisite dancing and for Wenders' unusual, lovely twist on the expected, often overused, strategy of the talking-head interview.

The New York Film Festival will present Pina on Saturday, October 15 at 6:15pm. Tickets are currently unavailable. Please watch the NYFF blog, Facebook and Twitter pages for specific announcements about changes in ticket availability. In addition, there will be a standby line at the screening venue’s box office day-of. For additional information about standby policies, please visit the NYFF Ticket Info page. 

Pina will be released in US theaters on December 23.

The 49th New York Film Festival
Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center
Broadway and 65th Street, Manhattan

Subway: #1 local train to 66th Street/Lincoln Center Station
Bus: The M5, M7, M10, M11, M66 and M104 bus lines all stop within one block of Lincoln Center.

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