Wim Wenders' 3-D documentary on Pina Bausch coming to U.S. theaters
Skeptics of 3-D movies like to grouse about the format's constricted frame, dim picture quality and uncomfortable glasses. But naysayers may end up softening their stance once they see Wim Wenders' new movie, "Pina."
One of the best-received entries of this year's Berlin Film Festival, "Pina" is a 3-D documentary that explores the legacy of the late modern-dance pioneer. The movie, which opens around Europe this spring, has landed a U.S. distributor, Sundance Selects. The release date hasn't been set but a spokesman for the company said the movie will likely open stateside this fall.
Bausch, who died in 2009, was the artistic head of Tanztheater Wuppertal, a German group that fuses modern dance with theatrical flourishes into a kind of hybrid art form. Lewis Segal, former Times dance critic, said that "it is limiting to call her a choreographer; she liked the term 'dance theater.' She was important because she thought everything belonged together -- speech, movement, design, commenting on the audience."
Notoriously demanding, Bausch put her dancers through grueling rehearsal processes that some described as punishing and abusive. In a report from Berlin, critic Dennis Lim wrote in the New York Times that Wenders "uses 3-D technology and evocative settings to summon the dreamlike potency of Ms. Bausch’s pieces, but her confrontational spirit seems to elude the film, which relies on bland, worshipful testimonials."
"Pina" isn't the only 3-D documentary hitting movie screens this year. Werner Herzog -- who, like Wenders, is a veteran of the German New Wave -- has directed "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," an exploration of ancient paintings in the Chauvet caves of Southern France.
-- David Ng
Photo: Pascal Merighi of Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal at UCLA's Royce Hall in 2007. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times