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Oscars 2012: 'Pina' by Wim Wenders lands documentary nomination

January 24, 2012 |  7:10 am


"Pina," the 3-D dance documentary directed by Wim Wenders, has received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary feature, it was announced Tuesday morning. The movie was also Germany's official submission for foreign film but failed to earn a nomination in that category.

"Pina" is a tribute to the late German modern-dance choreographer Pina Bausch and captures selections of her work performed by members of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the group that she took over in 1973.

The nomination for "Pina" is shared by Wenders and producer Gian-Piero Ringel.

Bausch passed away in 2009 just before filming of the movie began. Wenders told The Times last year that he canceled the film only to revive it later the same year as a tribute to the late choreographer. Among the pieces performed in the movie are selections from "The Rite of Spring," "Vollmond," "Cafe Muller" and "Kontakthof."

The movie sets some of its dance sequences outdoors amid the industrial architecture and open landscapes of the city of Wuppertal, located in the western part of Germany.

Wenders said his decision to use the digital 3-D format came after many years of searching for a new approach to shooting dance. After seeing the movie "U2 3D," the director found the answer to his long quest.

In the documentary category, "Pina" is competing against "Hell and Back Again," by Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner, about the dangers U.S. troops face in Afghanistan and their struggles in returning home; "If a Tree Falls:" A Story of the Earth Liberation Front," by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman; and "Undefeated," by T.J. Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas, about an urban high school football team.

Wenders received an Oscar nomination in 2000 for his documentary "Buena Vista Social Club." The director, whose films include "Wings of Desire" and "Paris, Texas," has never won the coveted statuette.


Movie review: "Pina"

Wenders' 'Pina' dances to a 3-D beat

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch soldiers on

-- David Ng

Photo: A scene from "Pina," directed by Wim Wenders, with members of Tanztheater Wuppertal. Credit: Donata Wenders / Sundance Selects