Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oscar Project 2012: Pina

Movie: Pina

This was about German choreographer Pina Bausch; I believe she had planned to participate in the filming but died shortly before it was scheduled to begin. As a result, the movie is more of a combined performance piece and eulogy than a documentary. The dancing was very interesting, if not always to my taste, but it was presented in a vacuum and I would have loved some more historical and cultural context. It wasn't even always clear when the pieces had been filmed - were they original videos or reenactments? Some of them took place in non-stage locations like parks and cities: Were these stage pieces that had been filmed in different locations specifically for this movie, or were they created as filmed pieces originally? There are bits of interviews with dancers from Bausch's company interspersed with the dance pieces, and every single one basically said: "Pina was the best person ever and changed my life." And I know they were grieving, and I'm not faulting any of the individuals, but it didn't exactly make for an interesting narrative, and it probably did Bausch herself a disservice by reducing a complex, interesting person to an angelic genius. Also: Very little was added by making this in 3D, but that was the only way it was available, so that's how I had to see it. But I will say that it left me wanting to learn more about Bausch, if only because it was so resolutely uninformative. But pretty! The dancing itself was enjoyable, and dance fans will probably want to see this one.

Availability: Last I checked, it was only playing in two theaters in the greater Boston area.

Nominated In:
Documentary (Feature): This really seemed more like a performance video than a documentary to me. I like to learn things from my documentaries, and while this was a pleasant enough watching experience, I didn't feel like I got much out of it. As mentioned above, I think it would have been strengthened - and made better as a documentary - with more balance and more factual information and context.

Movies left: 48; Days left: 27
Have seen 21% of movies and 34% of nominations.
Movie posts I owe you: 9

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