Overstreet, on 18 February 2012 - 12:37 AM, said:
Sounds to me like the movie worked just the way it was meant to, Timothy. Now you want to see these dances whole.
But this wasn't supposed to serve the dances whole. It was about a person and how she blessed the individuals who danced more than being about she blesses the audience. It's about a teacher and her students. So we're drawn into a dancer's story, and then into an excerpt that illustrates something about that dancer and the lessons he or she learned. Or we're shown part of a dance in which a particular dancer shines, and then we're given a personal testimony. This was, remember, made in memory of her, and as a way for the dancers to express gratitude. If it serves to whet our appetites to actually see the whole dances, I'm sure that would please the people involved. But it would have been a different thing, with a different purpose.
Which is great, but I live in Albuquerque . . . will I ever get to see these dances whole (or more complete)? Not necessarily.
Which is where film is a great medium to bring the dances to those who otherwise wouldn't be able to see them.
Does it whet my appetite? Yes. But is there a way to actually fulfill that appetite? (I say this not knowing if the fuller dances are available on DVD or blu-ray - maybe they are, but if so they're probably not captured with the care and skill as they are here).
I'll concede that maybe the film is doing what it's intended to be doing, but the film's rhythm still makes it feel like you're getting thirty second snippets of songs that are meant to be played whole. Which is nice, but I'd like the whole album, please, not a bit here and a bit there.
I just read your review again.
In it, you say: "Some say they'd prefer to see entire dances, uncut. But this movie is a dance. Each excerpt reveals a new idea or an individual dancer's discoveries. It whets our appetite for more."
I don't disagree, but my problem isn't really that we don't see the dances uncut (although I'd like to see all of them uncut, of course), but that we get so little of each dance. The dances we spend the most time with are also the ones most frequently interrupted by the interviews and other footage. Personally, I felt that every time I was emotionally connecting to a dance Wenders cut away. There were so many great moments in the film - and almost all of them were cut seriously short.
Don't you think that's a significant problem?
I don't dislike using interviews to frame the dances and as a tribute to Pina, but I do have a problem when reliance on them ends up making it harder for the audience to connect with Pina's work; to feel
what her dancers are describing.
I will say that, for whatever reason, I felt the second half of the film flowed better. Wenders was still cutting frequently, but it flowed
. There seemed to be some logic. Maybe it's just me - maybe I was just adjusted at that point. But it wasn't until the second half until I was really able to connect with the film on an emotional level.
Edited by Timothy Zila, 18 February 2012 - 02:22 AM.