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|Index||51 reviews in total|
I think I am destined never to fully make my mind up about this film.
My first reactions (during the screening) was that it is a competent
filming of some strong choreography (and dancing of that choreography).
Wenders has greater ambitions though, no doubt coloured by the death of the eponymous choreographer during the film's development. Short reflections on Bausch's working atmosphere are offered by the dancers over footage of their mute, posed headshots. Preparations for dancing in the theatre are shown, as well as the occasional shot of the back of the first few rows of the audience. It's a stubbornly artistic attempt to homogenise the mode of expression.
I appreciate that this is a consistent way of approaching this film. However, I longed for a little more straightforward discussion to offset the dance rather than a stream of inarticulate platitude and pretentious gloss which actually rather muddles the art on show. This isn't just as I am a dance ignoramus. It also affects the integrity of the recreated dance and the film in which it's couched. The Cafe Müller discussion is a particular lost opportunity, with the reconvened production team failing to string a sentence together, whilst the gripping dance is chopped up to accommodate it.
I'm not sure that the 3D arrangement lends all that much to the film - the extra dimension does enrich the experience. However the technology still can't remove ghost images, blurred motion or translucent patches in well-lit sequences. Certainly, compared to the inconvenience of having to wear the wretched spectacles and suffering the subsequently darkened images it's a meagre return. Still, for all my resistance I did find myself rather absorbed by the dance at its centre, which, as a triumph for Bausch, stands for something. 6/10
For lovers of interpretative dance only, and perhaps those who also
enjoy dance movements without context. A few OK dances and some good
dance movements, but as they are without context (obvious given the
style) there is no framework to place them - hence they make "no
sense". At almost 2 hours your patience might wear thin, should you not
be a fan of this type of dance.
The 3D is OK, but unnecessary and adds nothing to the dancescape. Best 3D is still Herzog's CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (present in approximately 90% of film); PINA only has noticeable 3D in approximately 40% of the film. But there are a handful of wonderful stereoscopic photographic shots - just not enough to justify the 3D price for this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Seen through the eyes of dance, "Pina" is dear in the hands and the
feet, the bodies of her original dancers who display the panache of
veterans and so drive sequences to sublimity. We get a similar sense of
sublimity, coming from the opposite direction, the direction of the
young dancers, who unvaryingly bring forth the elevation of homage in
their limbs (I am thinking particularly the young male dancer in a
gown, on a wooden platform, in front of a stream and trees that look
almost Japanese). And finally, a heart-wrenching quality whenever Pina
Bausch dances on screen; we then know we are in the presence of a
personality of unmistakable distinction.
But when we get to matters of cinematography, this is a wholly different matter, a wholly different reaction is in store: Wim Wenders does it again: he proves once more he is a tedious bore, in fact he is stupid. I will ground this in a detailed analysis.
Who wants subtle monstrosities? I, for one, believe in the epigraph "Don't shoot the pianist, he is doing his best", that as Oscar Wilde unpacked it, stood for "bad art merits the penalty of death". Even the sublime Oscar was taken aback by the savageness of the phrase, even I wonder whether we should not reenact it (well, not literally maybe, but reenact its intuition), because Wenders with his perennial water-marked artsiness seems way beyond any confrontation with this deadly serious matter.
Enter the film with the beginning of Bausch's signature choreography of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring": it goes on for some and then some, and, at least on this viewer provoked the somewhat anxious question, to what lengths will Wenders pursue it and make it come together cinematically, then undo it cinematically for the sake of the rest of the film? Add to this an editing that approached the red handkerchief of menstruation as a Hitchkockian object and things might (and that is a big might) start to get interesting, then - cut! showing an arbitrary sense of editing, met and proved again and again in the film (only later in the film Wenders offers us two or three associative patterns, as that transition of flowers shows at some point, but it is too late not to seem frustrating): why is Wenders doing this?
A surmise comes later in the film: as the choreographic whereabouts start opening up (scene, city, nature, the vast open space in the end), Wenders seems to take a step back and let, on the one hand, proportions speak in our retina (courtesy of 3D), and on the other, let dance do what it has to do without cinematic interference, even if the choreographic chunks seem random.
But vistas won't speak for themselves if the film-maker thinks he humbly withdraws: this is conceited. The question remains: what stance will the film take towards Pina Bausch? How much biography is allowed? Can an artist be approached as an artist only? It remains unclear what is the stance Wenders evokes, yet he definitely evokes Bausch as a presence. It is a pity then that when at a point she appears in a sequence of shots from young-to-old what we recognize and what snaps at us is her piercing, bit demonic gaze that stands at odd with the rest of the film and exposes Wenders witless approach; it is a pity and a blindness.
And when the young-to-old device is repeated, this destroys a lot of things at once: Bausch's earlier (though by no means successful) appearance, as if she was an artist pathetically charting the inevitable arch of our life-in-death, AND also the dancers' earlier appearance; though their appearance was not successful either - watch how embarrassingly two of them babble above the miniature scene where tiny versions of themselves perform, and remember how they stood purposelessly mute in their Dogma-like interviews with their voice-over as if in front of them -, Wenders with that move strips them of their veteran status: all that is left is anonymous ageing, then - Flash!
Something happens here, in the bluish thunderous doubles of Polaroids that zoom with a nod to Marker's "La Jetee": it is at the intersection where big vistas begin to appear, after this vampire-like negative of an intuition sucks up all levity that was left in the hanging tram's squeaking number: this heavy-handedness and past future vampirism made me think that Wenders' half sh*t still hangs in East Berlin, and reminded me Pauline Kael's criticism of the "Wings of Desire":
"A friend of mine says that he loved every second of this movie and he couldn't wait to leave. To put it simply, Wings of Desire has a visual fascination but no animating force-that's part of why it's being acclaimed as art. The film's lassitude-the way shots are held for small eternities, and the action seems to begin every three or four minutes-suggests some purpose beyond narrative,[...]psychic craving."
A friend of mine had said "Wenders is rhetoric a la rags". No matter how bad what these two friends say is, it is astonishing how much of what Kael mentions, stand for this film; so when in the end Bausch urges for more and more dance, "otherwise we will perish," this, in Wenders' hands, sounds like amateurish self-righteousness and unwilling parody. As Kael resumes her criticism, "Wenders films what makes him feel impotent."
This wasn't art. This looked like someone took too many mushrooms and
told the dancers to do ridiculous things.
How can Pina be considered anything but a fool after seeing this? Such boring choreography, goofy eulogies by the dancers, and dull visual effects.
Took my wife and daughters, who are all dancers. They laughed all the way home at how horridly bad the movie was and were shocked at what some call art.
We knew little about Pina going in, but when we left we were convinced of one thing, anyone who considers the person who created those dances as anything other than a goofball is an idiot.
Do yourself a favor, DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE!
Maybe it because I'm not really into dance, but this movie was the worst one I've seen in a long time. Maybe they should've included some information about Pina herself. But I guess if you're from the dance world you might already know all about her. Only went to see it because I am trying to see all of the Oscar nominees. The other documentaries I've seen that are nominated are so much better. And I'm also not sure why this was in 3D. Maybe a gimmick? To my dismay the theater wasn't serving beer at the 2pm showing. But alas even an entire case of beer couldn't have made this film tolerable in my opinion. Wish I could have my $9 and 2 hours of my life back.
Rotten Tomatoes have given a 91 approval rating.
A very boring film from an "intellectually" acclaimed European director. So automatically, the film gets a high rating in America.
Never have been a fan of Wenders.
I sat through arduously "Vista Social Club". Another much hyped film.
Apart from one song performance, that was worth watching, the rest was uninteresting.
I bought the blu-ray version in Paris. I was obliged to pay for 3d version, too.
On the back jacket, the screen version is supposed to be 2:40. Well, in fact it is only 1.85.
The Dts sound was pale.
If you want to see an interesting film on Pina, watch "Les Reves Dansants".
If you want a fantastic performance of Le Sacre de Printemps de Stravinski, watch the beginning of Coco Chanel.
This movie is heartily recommended as a cure for insomnia. Besides being incredibly self-indulgent it is totally lacking in any audience empathy. I am sure that modern dance aficionados might find the various routines of interest but those like me, who have only a passing interest in the medium, demand a little more for our cinematic experience. The interviews with the dancers themselves showed a love and respect for the subject of the movie, Pina Bausch, but we found out precious little about her which was disappointing. All I can remember is this tiny waif of a woman who always had a cigarette in her hand, which was rather surprising considering the physical demands of her profession. Yes there were parts of the movie which had a certain surreal quality but they were few and far between. Disappointing and, ultimately, pointless.
this only thing that this film gave me is the dancers, male or female, did a very forceful dancing, so powerful yet so manipulatively untrue to the stage by the stravinsky animal-like cursing tune and tempo. there were moments that i felt i got it but then it turned out to be just some superfluous and superficial body movements and gestures. putting real dirt on the stage was a groundbreaking first, forcing all the dancers danced on the dirt, rolled on it, tumbling in it to get some visual effect was also another first for purposeless effect just like that red blouse to symbolize for what? sprouts? hope? hopeless struggle of life? meaningless intervention of the nature? love loss? or, what? all i could feel for was the pity on those dancers who must continuously repeated the designed tiresome actions followed the bombarding music. it's one of the most tiresome and cruel requirement for the dancers to perform. those who thought they are thoughtful and philosophic would try very hard to give some new findings and interpretations to this whole stuff, but deep down, i don't think they could have felt or enlightened more than me, a pathetic watcher who could get nothing but sympathy for those pitiful dancers.
A homage. Or images from art. Dans as drawing of life. Respiration. Built of reality without limits or holes. A memento mori and portrait of a master. A poem. A delicate web. A story. Old,well - know, powerful.Gestures of a family. And the pieces of beauty as existential chain. Remember, testimonies, crumbs of shadows and lights.Andthe theater. As only decent answer to any expectation. A film about a choreograph. In same measure or more, a expedition in yourself sensitivity. So, it is not exactly a documentary. It is not a lesson about an artistic form of expression. May be a slice of childhood. An explanation of a passing woman. Skin for balls of nerves. Or map of a isle. A letter about small feelings. The reader is always its author.
This is pure bullshit passed onto you as fine, sophisticated art. If
you are a sucker, you will fall for it. If you have half a brain, you
will see it for what it is. If you are a dancer, you may like it
because of the moves. But, just because a dancer can move a certain way
does not mean that they should.
Why did I watch it? I was part of a captive audience. I was eating dinner in a restaurant in Caracas while they showed this movie on the wall. There were people that came over from the dance studio next door who seemed to be captivated. One even came over to our table to ask us to keep quiet while they watch the movie. Funny though, because the movie is spoken in several different languages with subtitles that even vary in different languages - WTF! But, I guess that adds to the "sophistication" they try to pass onto the fools who are truly duped into believing this movie is anything but what it really is: absolute, polyunsaturated bullshit.
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