Pina Review

Originally I knew absolutely nothing about the film Pina. I had heard that it was nominated for an Oscar as Best Documentary Feature. However I still had no idea what it was featuring. Once I had watched the trailer I was a little intrigued by how they could make this into a documentary. If you have watched the trailer all it shows you is people dancing. It doesn’t necessarily hint at being a documentary. Also, I’m not going to lie, I wanted to see how a “documentary” could be filmed in 3D. I personally like documentaries but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Pina is a tribute to the late Pina Bausch who passed away in summer 2009. Bausch was a German choreographer who inspired a lot of dancers. The director, Wim Wenders, personally knew Pina through her days and decided that people needed to see what an amazing person she was. Wenders went straight to the company of Pina’s to find those that were close to her heart. With them, Tanztheater Wuppertal, he created a film that features her dancers doing her dances. Wenders takes them all thoughout the town that Pina resided in for 35 years, where she drew her creativity from, to show what Pina was capable of in her dances.

Pina Bausch was born on July 27, 1940 and passed away on June 30, 2009. She was a German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and a ballet director. Pina had a style of her own that pushed her into the spotlight and than became the leading influence since 1970 in modern dance. She was unique in the way she blended movements, sounds and her stage sets. Even though she was the art director of the Taztheater Wuppertal Pina Basuch she still performed as well. Her most famous works included Café Müller (1978), in which the dancers stumble around into random chairs spread out on stage.

One might as why I’m giving all of Pina’s back story away. To put it in simple terms, it is because they don’t really give it to you in the film. Obviously you understand who she is throughout Pina but we are never really given back story. Personally, I almost wouldn’t classify Pina as a documentary. It is, but in its’ own special way. Like I stated you don’t learn about Pina’s life or her career, just her dance through others. I would almost classify this film as a tribute to an artist by artists. Each person from Pina’s company had done a short interview on what they personally took to heart from Pina’s teachings. Then after the interview it breaks to that person doing a dance they were taught by Pina. Something that I found cool about the movie though is that they were able to throw in film of Bausch actually dancing and performing.

The film was broken up into what seemed like four different parts. I think those parts symbolized Bausch’s life and career as a dancer. The four parts were four separate, yet big dancers. Those four included the entire company of dancers. A long with those four big dances we are given a lot of smaller and shorter, one to two dancer segments. Another feature to this film was the 3D. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a documentary being in 3D but since it pretty much incorporated dancing the entire time the 3D was nice. It didn’t distract from the film. In normal 2D dance films it gets boring just seeing people dancing on the screen where as the 3D you see them popping off the screen. It adds that depth to an art that otherwise isn’t there. It brings it out a little bit more.

In all honest I was pleasantly surprised with Pina. I didn’t know much going into the film but walked away appreciating the art of dance a little more than I already did. It is a very disciplined art form that takes years to master and I’m glad to see dances of someone who has made it to that level.

It was a little different than I was expecting. Hell, it was completely different considering I didn’t know what to expect from a 3D documentary film. The way everything was presented it highly benefited from 3D unlike most films these days who throw 3D in for the marketing and shit. The way the film was broken up into segments was something of a genius. For someone who would rather not go to a ballet or anything dance related for that matter, it was performed and was capable of keeping my attention the entire time.

Obviously Pina is going to be a film that appeals to dance enthusiasts but it is still something that people should see. If you like art, then you’d like this form of art. In all honesty if you don’t like dance you might like the instrumental music that accomanies the dances. Personally, I kind of want to see it again already.

Pina – 8/10

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