Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pina 3D Review

Pina is director-writer Wim Wender's documentary about the late German choreographer Pina Bausch. The documentary films many of Bausch's dance pieces and interspersed in the movie are reflections from dancers about Baush. With the exception of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring", the music is all tonal making the dance routines accessible.

But what makes Pina different is that Wenders films the movie in 3-D. (3D) Modern dance lends itself well to 3D cinema with its use of space. It is also clear that Wenders maximized the 3D medium. He gives shots depth with the way he positions the camera to capture a row of dancers. Props, and objects are placed in the foreground. Backgrounds are not just pictures but add to the depth. Moving cars, rolling hills, train tracks and cliffs all make the 3D pop. Wenders also moves the camera slowly around dancers to maximize the 3D medium. There are times Wenders use of 3D gives the film a surreal quality as one feels the dancers are in another dimension separate from the stage.

The dancers and Baush's routines are magnificent. Yes, much of it is avant-garde. But there's raw emotion and whimsy too. None of it is boring.

Wim Wenders has created a 3D masterpiece. There were times that I thought characters in the movie were in the theater with me. Other times I felt I was in an abstract painting. Wenders use of 3D is greater than James Cameron's use of it in Avatar. (2009) Wenders told NPR he would never film in 2D again. With his mastery of the medium, I can see why. The grade for Pina is A +.

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