Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wim Wenders' Pina dance movie takes 3D to a new dimension

The dance documentary Pina directed in 3D by Wim Wenders takes the use of the movie technology forward in an unexpected direction.
I sided with Francis Ford Coppola – director of The Godfather – in a post last year when he disagreed with James Cameron, who was still being lauded for Avatar, that 3D would become the standard not only in the cinema but for broadcast entertainment too.
Having just watched Pina, I realise for the first time 3D can be used subtly and in the hands of someone like the much-respected German director, the technology has only just begun to be exploited as an artistic medium.
Where I had been thinking re-makes of Ben-Hur in 3D, Brief Encounter might benefit from the treatment. When glasses are no longer required, I’d say Cameron will be proved right.

I was around eight when I saw my first 3D movie the musical Kiss Me Kate in 1953. Flaming torches hurled from the screen into the audience made a lasting impression.
About 10 years ago on a Paris holiday, I took the 80 minute train journey from the French capital to Poitiers to visit Futuroscope, a theme park devoted to leading edge entertainment technology. It whetted my appetite for the new generation of 3D movies.
But before Pina only Avatar has been worth my extra admission cost. Tim Burton’s exploration of the technology has a way to go. The re-issued The Nightmare Before Christmas hardly differed from the 2D version, while Alice in Wonderland was a disappointment saved only by Helena Bonham Carter’s contribution as the Red Queen. Toy Story 3 didn’t gain much from the added dimension. A friend supports Piranha 3D but I never got round to seeing it despite Kelly Brook’s attractions.

So back to Pina, Wender’s homage to Pina Bausch, the German choreographer and driving force of the Tanztheater Wuppertal troupe, who died in 2009 just days before filming was due to begin.
I didn’t find much beauty in the performances but the tireless dancers of all ages attacked themes of love, conflict, and isolation – throw in the elements (water, earth, rock), set performances on stage and in nearby industrial sites and countryside, make the whole subject to 3D – and you have a treat.
I’m not a dance buff and Pina is art house fare but it commanded my unwavering concentration to a degree given the choice I’d rather watch this movie again than I would Avatar.

2 comments:

  1. Yes. I too saw Piranha in 3D. Kelly Brook [real life wife of Steven Seagal] doing female with female underwater 'dance' sequence frolic with known porn star actress, please! The best part of the 3D was of course as usual the opening credits. I jest of course. Some of the gore sequences were outstanding, [pun intended].

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  2. Kelly LeBrock divorced Seagal in 1996. GC

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