But this will not be your typical family drama fare, considering Wenders will be shooting the film in 3-D. An odd choice, you’d assume, but if this works at all in way that Pina did, it could truly be something groundbreaking and incredible. Rather than conventional 3-D, which I usually tend to avoid, the figures in Pina do not pop out or invade your space—rather, you invade theirs. It’s as if you’re transported onto the stage with them and surround their world, getting a immersive look into the world that he’s created in a way that truly enhaces everything about what you’re seeing. Using Steadicams rigs, Wenders dissolves the distance between character and spectator, and if he can manage to do that with a structured narrative such as this, well, just hand me the box of Kleenex now.
Wim Wenders Begins Production on His Next Film ‘Every Thing Will Be Fine’ Starring James Franco
When you come to an intersection in a city, it’s like a clearing in the forest.
-Alice in the Cities
There’s that line in the film that says, “What are we longing for? Where does all this yearning come from?” I feel like that’s a central theme in so much of your work and this was a way to physicalize this deep longing.
That was something that maybe tied us together, Pina and me. When I saw her pieces for the first time I realized we had a subject in common, as well. Many of my films were trying to deal with the same issues in different ways but certainly not in the same way she was able to do it without words and without story. There was never a story; in some of her pieces there is a red line going through, but it’s not a plot; in movies you always have a story to carry you, and I realized that maybe stories are in the way sometimes of getting to the core of things. The way Pina gets to the core of what love and loss means in her piece, Cafe Muller, I just don’t know a single film that has been able to come remotely close to that. In forty minutes Pina showed me more about men and women than the history of cinema without a single word.
“My whole body understood it and I had cramps after, as if I’d been onstage myself,” says German director Wim Wenders of the first time he saw a piece by his dear friend Pina Bausch, the late German choreographer and subject of the filmmaker’s latest tour de force, Pina (Sundance Selects, December 23). Unlike in conventional 3-D movies, the figures in Wenders’ documentary do not pop out or invade your space—in fact, they do quite the opposite. Using Steadicam rigs, Wenders adroitly dissolves the distance between dancer and spectator so that, in observing every curvature of the bodies in motion, the viewer becomes part of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the experimental dance-theater ensemble Bausch led from 1973 until her death in 2009. Staged in settings ranging from a busy intersection in Wuppertal to a glass room in the middle of the woods, the dancers merge reality and fantasy, like an expressionist painting brought to life.
It’s very difficult to convey the emotion of this film and the whole world surrounding it into a 200 word article. Just go see it wherever, however you can.