Tag Archives: documentary

Piiiiina!

13 May

I’m breaking away from the supposed science theme of my blog here, but I saw this stunning film tonight and it deserves at least a quick mention.

‘Pina’ is Wim Wenders’ documentary about the German dancer/choreographer Pina Bausch. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of either of them before reading some reviews of the film, though I had unknowingly seen one of Pina’s works in the opening to Pedro Almodóvar’s 2002 film ‘Talk to Her’.

A dancer and a very big rock (still from Wim Wenders' 'Pina')

‘Pina’ is essentially a series of dance performances, ranging from one-minute sketches to longer chunks of her more famous works (e.g. ‘Rite of Spring’). These are interspersed with clips of the dancers remembering Pina (she died shortly before the filming started), and everything is beautifully threaded together by Wenders. The film is also in 3D, so expect to get pretty intimate with the dancers (and, thanks to the 3D glasses, you also get to look like Robocop for an evening…bonus!).

Some of my favourite scenes were the more surreal moments in locations around Pina’s hometown of Wuppertal: a woman frolicking in a river with a hippopotamus; a tutu-sporting man being transported along an underground railway; a dancer inexplicably placing slices of veal in her shoes before performing en pointe. You can obviously get away with the silliest things when you have the grace and poise of a dancer (take note, Thom Yorke).

Anyway, I’d highly recommend this film to anyone who’s even a tiny bit intrigued. The trailer does it more justice than I ever could…

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