- First Released Internationally in 2011
- Showing at St James Cavalier, Valletta, from the 3rd to the end of April, to commemorate International Dance Day (April 29th)
- Showing in 3D
I approached this critically-acclaimed film in the knowledge that I know very little about the world of dance, and next to nothing about the “dance theatre” style for which the late Pina Bausch is mostly famous. This unconventional documentary by the celebrated German director Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club, The Million Dollar Hotel) showcases her dance company’s major works, and looks back on her artistic work through the eyes of her dancers.
The format is fairly simple – there is no obvious narrative, but rather a fluid and sequenced trip through her four major works, recreated for the film. The film is punctuated by brief, intense and original interviews with her dancers, who come from all corners of the globe, and evidently miss her a great deal. There are also numerous brief dance sequences set in various gorgeous locations, making wonderful use of 3D and giving an all-round better picture of her style of dance. Pina herself appears in numerous older clips, but unfortunately she passed away when the film was still in its early stages.
There’s no denying that this is vivid, beautiful and very different cinema, but whether you actually enjoy it or not as a film experience will probably depend highly on your relationship with dance. And on whether you view Pina’s quotes as inspirational nuggets to cherish, or vague statements that could really mean anything. But ultimately, I’m quite sure that everyone leaving the cinema will have a very good sense of who Pina was, at least professionally, and what an indelible mark she has left. Which is a testament to Wim Wenders and his observant and thorough approach here.
St James Cavalier have recently installed new digital projectors and a larger screen. Upcoming highlights which will make use of this technology include showings of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds and many more. For more info visit http://www.sjcav.org/.