Thursday, February 9, 2012
The late, legendary German dancer/choreographer Pina Bausch is the subject of Pina, an utterly thrilling cinematic tribute by Wim Wenders. "You always felt more than just human, working with Pina," recalls one of her dancers, and this is more than just a documentary, or a dance film, or a memorial. Wenders crafts an extraordinary plunge into the mystery of the creative process, a visionary concept film that reinvents the way dance is viewed onscreen, and a wildly invigorating expedition into the soul of an artist.
It may be part documentary, part concert film in format, but Wenders tweaks everything we think we know about these genres. Members of Bausch's acclaimed, multinational Tanztheater Wuppertal dance company speak of their friend and mentor, but there are no talking heads; the dancers gaze enigmatically into the camera while their remarks are heard in voice-over. Bausch herself is seen in archive footage, dancing onstage or working with her dancers in the rehearsal room, but there's no conventional third-person narration. Everything we learn about her we glean from her own words, or from the power of her work. (Read more)