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Sunday, November 20

(2011, Wim Wenders) Dance pieces by the legendary Pina Bausch: Rite of Spring, performed on a dirt floor; Café Muller, with some dancers performing eyes shut; and Contact Court, performed by three separate ensembles – teenagers, middle-aged, over 65 – all edited together. DCP. Approx. 103 mins.


Pina gives us the supreme pleasure of watching fascinating bodies of widely varying ages in motion, whether leaping, falling, catching, diving, grieving, or exulting. Wenders’s expert use of
3-D puts viewers up close to the spaces, both psychic and physical, inside and out, of Bausch’s work.”

– Mellisa Anderson, Village Voice

“The question is, What do you get from Pina that you could not get from watching the Tanztheater live? Answer: More than you could possibly believe… Goad[s] stereoscopic technology into its first leap since Avatar. […] You can trawl through cinema and find few more beautiful, more unforced, or more fleeting representations of the bourn between the living and the dead.”
– Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“MYSTERIOUS, SUBMERSIVE AND CAPTIVATING! Helped by a sensitive, uncynical use of 3D technology, [the] sequences draw us deeply into the work…as if the technology is a performer, not an interloper. […] The beauty of Wenders’s film is that his imagery and gaze on Bausch’s work has the same essential, uncluttered and wryly funny quality as the work itself. Some will come to this film full of knowledge of Bausch. For others, it will be as fresh and novel as Wenders’s approach to turning dance into cinema. Both, I think, will find it entrancing and truly inspiring.”
– Dave Calhoun, Time Out (London)

“Wenders has spoken a lot about his use of 3-D here. Like other thoughtful directors (Scorsese, Herzog, Spielberg), he only uses it when he knows why and how it should be employed. Here he visually dramatizes the spaces between the actors by moving his camera on a crane so that the POV places us on the stage and moving among the dancers.”
– Roger Ebert

“[An] exploration of the artistic impulse, primordial and postmodern…Pina is, above all, an act of preservation, A MEMORIAL THAT IS ALSO A DEFIANCE OF MORTALITY — COMPLETELY ALIVE IN EVERY DIMENSION.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Pina does more than mimic the experience of being in the audience. It brings us out of our seats and onto the stage; it allows us to duck between the dancers and hover next to them; and it finds those marbles of empty space that seem to exist only in 3-D close-up…A movie that does more than demolish the invisible wall between film and dance; it breaks the barrier that intervenes, even at a live performance, between seat and stage…To make Pina, Wenders had to invent a new medium for dance—a radical, Dionysian form, a Tanzcinema. He also took a step toward a new medium for film. Like Werner Herzog, whose Cave of Forgotten Dreams came out last April, Wenders has produced a stunning work of art-house 3-D.”
– Slate

Film Forum