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Pina and other 3D films by Wim Wenders

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Wim Wenders helms 3D pic in Italy

ROME Wim Wenders is pioneering new wave of 3D production in Italy.

The Teutonic auteur, who has been working in Italy lately, has recently completed principal photography on a 27-minute 3D docudrama titled "Il Volo," starring Ben Gazzara as a small town mayor with a big vision for social integration.

Now there are high hopes that "Il Volo," which translates literally as "The Flight," will pave the way for some Italo 3D features to spread their wings.

Produced on a budget of roughly $500,000, Wenders' first foray into 3-D comes after production on "Pina," his planned 3D tribute to Pina Bausch was halted after the late great choreographer and dancer's death last year.

Coin for Wenders' 3D "Flight" was put up mostly by the Southern Italian Calabria region with everyone involved working either free or for scale. Bologna-based oufit Lilliwood provided the stereoscopic equipment, manpower, and know-how to operate a synchronized camera system it has developed.

"It's a promotional product for us," says Lilliwood producer Gianfranco Borgatti who is quick to point out that, in contrast with a Yank propensity to see stereoscopy as a way to wow auds with bigger effects, "3D can be a way to heighten a sense of naturalistic, rather than supernatural reality," indicating that Italy may be looking to develop an auteurish 3D style in a quasi neorealist vein. . . .

Variety, February 5

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Now called Pina, and there's a trailer.

Edited by Overstreet

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Overstreet wrote:

: Now called Pina . . .

Actually, Pina is the project that Wenders had to shelve before he filmed Il Volo, as per the article above:

Produced on a budget of roughly $500,000, Wenders' first foray into 3-D comes after production on "Pina," his planned 3D tribute to Pina Bausch was halted after the late great choreographer and dancer's death last year.

So it looks like he was able to get back to Pina in the end.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Wim Wenders showed me a cut of this film when I visited him in Berlin a few months ago. It's a fantastic film experience; one of the best dance films I've seen, and also one of the best uses of 3D to date. Wim brought his exceptional formal composition aesthetic to the 3D photography of world class modern dance, and the result is something totally unique.

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Bunch of great new reviews for this tremendous movie on on Wim Wender's site:

http://www.wim-wenders.com

Also, should we change the title of this thread to PINA since that's the name of the film?

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Scott Derrickson wrote:

: Also, should we change the title of this thread to PINA since that's the name of the film?

Has Wenders abandoned Il Volo altogether, then?

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Il Volo was a short film he completed over a year ago and it has been screened. In fact, he's made another short 3D film since. I was just suggesting we take this discussion about PINA and give it its own thread title, because it's a feature film that is going to have some worldwide distribution and is an important part of the 3D film development.

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Ah, okay. I was wondering why no one had created a thread for Pina, but if the consensus is that we should put all of Wenders' 3D eggs in this basket, I can roll with that. FWIW, I'm singling out Pina in the thread title because it's feature-length.

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Wim Wenders showed me a cut of this film when I visited him in Berlin a few months ago. It's a fantastic film experience; one of the best dance films I've seen, and also one of the best uses of 3D to date. Wim brought his exceptional formal composition aesthetic to the 3D photography of world class modern dance, and the result is something totally unique.

I second that. I saw this yesterday and was really moved by it. The 3D works fantastically to communicate the exertion of the dancers' movements. I think, even, more so than watching live dance. You really pick up on the detail of each movement, and space is somehow emphasised, exagerated by the 3D. Surfaces seem to be harder, more fluid, muscles more sinewy and stronger.

And yes, the composition is quite something. Wonderful to see such a love of the image & the moving camera.

The one thing I would have liked to have seen is a little more talk that wasn't as generous about Pina. Not mean, but honest about what must have been a very difficult and exhausting relationship with her dancers at times. I sometimes found her comments that the dancers found to be helpful to be overly enigmatic. And there was only one suggestion about her compulsion to work. I think hearing about the difficulty of achieving some of these spectacular works would have made viewing them all the more impressive. Nonetheless, they all respected her massively and this comes across in their dances which is ultimately the most interesting statement of their relationship to her.

Finally, I wish that one of the end anecdotes had opened rather than closed the film - one of her sayings, 'what is it we long for?' It really helped to frame everything and I would have found it a useful introductory device and probably read some of the dances a little differently with that insight.

Otherwise, I hate to conform to A&F hyperbole, but I really will not be surprised if this ends up being my Film Of The Year.

Edited by gigi

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D'Angelo tweets from Cannes:

65. Not as inventive an actual *film* as THE SOUL OF A MAN, but a fine, stirring introduction to Bausch's work.

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Saw this last night. OK, it's Germany's submission for Foreign Language Oscar. OK, it's qualified for Best Doc consideration. I found the editing to be amazing. The logistics of filming had to be horrendous. Very, very good. I was mesmerized. My wife was exhausted watching them.

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I have to say I'm sympathetic to those who have complained that the film offers us no real context whatsoever -- no real sense of who Pina is or who she was so significant. The film features interviews with people who talk about what it was like to work with her, yes, but that's all very INternal; what about something more EXternal, something that might give us more context?

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Anthony Lane in his 2011 wrap-up:

The year closed with “Pina,” Wim Wenders’s documentary on Pina Bausch. Trying to get friends to go and see a film about a dead German choreographer is not, to be frank, the simplest mission that has befallen me recently. Yet, of those who did heed the call and summon up the blood, none came back disappointed. Put it next to last year’s “Black Swan,” for instance, which had the clear advantage of a meaty plot, flapping wings, and gooseflesh-raising sex, and it is the Wenders, oddly, that feels like the more mature and deep-delving enterprise, reducing the Aronofsky, for all its gusto, to an adolescent psychotrip. Natalie Portman threw and flew herself into the role, but even a short spell in the company of Bausch’s ghost was enough to remind us that, in dance—as in golf, cake-baking, and nighttime commando raids—there really is no substitute for a pro. At the end of “Pina,” I felt as thrilled and drained as if I’d just come back from a really good action movie. Which, in a way, I had.

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Richard Brody @ The New Yorker:

Wim Wenders’s “Pina,” his documentary featuring dances by the late choreographer Pina Bausch (which Anthony Lane reviews in the magazine this week), is an excellent film insofar as Bausch is an excellent artist. Thanks to Wenders, some of Bausch’s dances are preserved on film, in a sensitive, intelligent, occasionally witty, library-quality recording. But its cinematic added value is slight. In effect, “Pina” is only a moderate improvement on standard-issue television recordings of dance performances. I wholeheartedly agree with Anthony that the movie is very much worth seeing, for Bausch’s dances and for the clips of her own dancing that Wenders provides. Yet the movie is European Cultural Product, a genteel and sumptuous packaging of great art works that elides their fury to establish them on the altar of the cult of art-veneration that substitutes, in secular modernity, for religious submission.

Wenders is so devoted to Bausch’s dances that he makes sure to catch everything. His camera work and his editing are risk-free; he shows dancers making high-risk moves (the free falls and precarious balances in Bausch’s work are nerve-racking to see) but he himself doesn’t risk missing them. His framings and his cuts show, never hide, and to the extent that they do more than show, they mainly divert. By contrast, here’s a clip from a prior documentary film of dances by Bausch, “Un Jour Pina a Demandé” (“One Day Pina Asked”), from 1982, in which the director, Chantal Akerman, films one of the dances that Wenders also features prominently in his film . . .

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Richard Brody @ The New Yorker:

Wim Wenders’s “Pina,” his documentary featuring dances by the late choreographer Pina Bausch (which Anthony Lane reviews in the magazine this week), is an excellent film insofar as Bausch is an excellent artist. Thanks to Wenders, some of Bausch’s dances are preserved on film, in a sensitive, intelligent, occasionally witty, library-quality recording. But its cinematic added value is slight. In effect, “Pina” is only a moderate improvement on standard-issue television recordings of dance performances. I wholeheartedly agree with Anthony that the movie is very much worth seeing, for Bausch’s dances and for the clips of her own dancing that Wenders provides. Yet the movie is European Cultural Product, a genteel and sumptuous packaging of great art works that elides their fury to establish them on the altar of the cult of art-veneration that substitutes, in secular modernity, for religious submission.

Wenders is so devoted to Bausch’s dances that he makes sure to catch everything. His camera work and his editing are risk-free; he shows dancers making high-risk moves (the free falls and precarious balances in Bausch’s work are nerve-racking to see) but he himself doesn’t risk missing them. His framings and his cuts show, never hide, and to the extent that they do more than show, they mainly divert. By contrast, here’s a clip from a prior documentary film of dances by Bausch, “Un Jour Pina a Demandé” (“One Day Pina Asked”), from 1982, in which the director, Chantal Akerman, films one of the dances that Wenders also features prominently in his film . . .

I think this criticism is just plain wrong. 3-D movement that takes you onto the stage to witness the dancing at closer view than any audience has seen the dance before is only "a moderate improvement on standard-issue tv recordings"? That's absurd.

And the artfulness of the 3-D images -- as is often the case with Wenders 2D films -- is in his restrained use of wide-angle lenses. His lensing allows the viewer to see and feel the dance in a way no other method of shooting would. The artfulness of the filmmaking is in the choice NOT to cut, and to instead provide original and inventive context for the dances, which are nevertheless still seen as they were meant to be seen -- from an individual point of view, unblinking, and un-enhanced by action editing.

Edited by Scott Derrickson

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Saw this tonight. This is the first film to have fully convinced me that 3-D can be a valid aesthetic choice for film. PINA should not be seen any other way than in theatrical 3-D.

I have to say I'm sympathetic to those who have complained that the film offers us no real context whatsoever -- no real sense of who Pina is or who she was so significant. The film features interviews with people who talk about what it was like to work with her, yes, but that's all very INternal; what about something more EXternal, something that might give us more context?

Yes. I have to say that as one who was not immediately full of admiration for Pina Bausch's style of dance choregoraphy, some context would have gone a long way in helping me to appreciate what I was seeing. But perhaps the film isn't for the uninitiated.

I also had a slight problem with the way Wenders edits these segments of the film. Sometimes it ruins the narrative of these segments, completely robbing my ability to deeply invest in them. Rather than this assembly of excerpts and brief segments, I would have much rather sat through a full, uninterrupted 3-D film of Bausch's "Rite of Spring."

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Well, hello, late-arriving Second Place on my Top 10 of 2011.

Here's my review.

Easily my favorite Wenders film since Wings of Desire.

Edited by Overstreet

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Well, hello, late-arriving Second Place on my Top 10 of 2011.

Here's my review.

Easily my favorite Wenders film since Wings of Desire.

This makes me so happy. I've seen it twice, and I think it's a true masterwork -- and easily the best use of 3D I've yet to see.

I emailed the review link to Wim too, btw.

Edited by Scott Derrickson

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Bless you, friend.

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Pina's opening in theatres across Canada this weekend. I can't wait to see it.

Edit:

The film played in Quebec theatres in December with another innovative film about dance opening. It's a short film called ORA, produced by the NFB, and shot with "infrared thermal imaging cameras".

From an article.

"I had to infect him with the idea of 'Let's do a film with this technology' because he's a creator in his own right – he's a scientific designer. He said 'Yeah, I want to do this. I want to have this camera used for the first time in a cultural creation,'" Baylaucq recounted.

"One of the reasons the human body is such a good subject [for these cameras is because] it's an ultra-conductor of heat. We lose a lot of heat… The interesting thing about having semi- or almost-totally nude dancers is that they're expressing themselves in heat in an unimpeded way, which is the perfect subject for these cameras. They read heat, they want to see heat," he said.

There is a clip here , (just scroll down).

Edited by Attica

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It's going to play at the Cinerama in Seattle, and Wim Wenders will be there for a Q&A.

I'm already wondering what it would take to get to meet him for coffee and thank him in person.

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It's going to play at the Cinerama in Seattle, and Wim Wenders will be there for a Q&A.

I'm already wondering what it would take to get to meet him for coffee and thank him in person.

Well. You do know a guy who recently E-mailed him a link to your review of his film. ;)

Edit: Hope that wasn't inappropriate.

Edited by Attica

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:)

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Attica wrote:

: Pina's opening in theatres across Canada this weekend.

Eh? It's been playing in Vancouver for a few weeks already.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Attica wrote:

: Pina's opening in theatres across Canada this weekend.

Eh? It's been playing in Vancouver for a few weeks already.

Interesting. Maybe it's a different chain, or is the venue a smaller theatre (like a cinematheque)?

The Empire theatres site says this.

Release Date: Feb 10 2012

Running Time: 1hr 46min

Genre: Documentary

I suppose it could have opened in Winnipeg a bit late, waiting for another movie to have finished it's run.

Edit:

Nope. I just checked... it opened at the Empire theatres in Vancouver yesterday as well.

Edited by Attica

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