Pina 3D

A film for PINA BAUSCH by WIM WENDERS exclusive preview

24.5.20011. | 19:00h | Movieplex Kaptol centar


The film is presented in 3D technology with English subtitles, in the space of Movieplex Theatre Room 1 (286 seats).

Writer, Director, Producer:  Wim Wenders
Producer: Gia Piero-Ringler
Stereographer: Alaine Derobe
Camera: Hélène Louvart,
3D supervisor: François Garnier
3D supervisor: Erwin M. Schmidt
Editor: Toni Froshhammer
Composer: Thom Hanreich
Artistic Consultant: Peter Pabst
Artistic Consultant: Dominique Mercy
Artistic Consultant: Robert Sturm
Costumes: Marion Citron
Set Design and Costume Design until 1980: Rolf Borzik
Distribution: Hanway Productions
Croatian Distributor: Continental Film
Official Croatian Premiere:   Motovun Film Festival 2011. 

Thank you to: Motovun Film Festival and to Continental Film for their permission to feature PINA at the 28 DANCE WEEK FESTIVAL in Zagreb. The official Croatian premiere is scheduled for the occasion of the Motovun Film Festival July 25-29, 2011.

Pina is a full-length film created using  the magical 3D technology and with the support of the Tanztheather Wuppertal ensemble featuring the unique and inspiring work of the great Pina Bausch, German choreographer who passed away in the Summer of 2009. The film takes the viewer on a sensual, visually stunning journey through a new dimension – directly onto the stage of this legendary company, following the dancers beyond the confinement of the theatre outside into the city and around Wuppertal – the town that they called home for 35 years.   

Development of the Project:

Wim Wenders was deeply impressed by "Café Müller" a performance choreographed by Pina Bausch and which he first saw in 1985 when Tanztheater Wuppertal was performing in Venice. From this first encounter was born a long-lasting friendship which in time birthed the idea of a film. K Unfortunately, this plan was postponed several times primarily due to several obstacles: Wenders was convinced that a new medium should be discovered which will represent on film the uniqueness of Pina’s art. In time, this joint plan turned into a ritual of sorts, almost a continuing joke among friends, during which time the two artists would remind each other of their initial goal: “When?” , “As soon as I discover how…”.

For Wim Wenders the defining moment arrived   when he saw the release of the Irish rock band, U2’s, film in Cannes which used the digital 3D technology to record their concer on film “U2-3D”. Wenders realized there and then that with this new 3D technology his idea was actually possible. “Its only with this, including the issue of addressing the spatial dimensions, that I would venture to present Pina’s Tanztheater onto a projection screen.”  Wenders  immediately began to systematically research the new generation of 3D cinematography and in 2008 together with Pina Bausch started to plan for the execution of their dream. Together with Wim Wenders, Pina chose the following choreographies from among her repertoire and included them into her 2009/10 season:   „Café Müller“, „Le Sacre du Printemps“, „Vollmond“ and  „Kontakthof“.

A shock and a new beginning:

Earlier, during 2009, Wim Wenders and his production house Neue Road Movies, together with Pina Bausch and the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal began the preproduction phase of the new venture. After almost a full half-year of hard work, and only two days before the planned rehearsal prior to the 3D shoot, something unimaginable happened. Something no one was prepared for: Pina Bausch passed away unexpectedly on June 30, 2009.  Throughout the world fans and friends of Tanztheater Wuppertal mourned the loss of one of the greatest of choreographers ever. It appeared that this event was also the end of their joint film venture. Wim Wenders stopped all activity related to the film, convinced that the film, without Pina doesn’t make any sense.  Following the initial period of mourning, and some thinking through, encouraged by numerous appeals of the international community, and by the family too, along with the support of the dancers and staff – Wim Wenders decided to continue with the film even without Pina Bausch’s presence.

The new concept for the film, along with the four earlier chosen productions : „Café Müller“, „Le Sacre du printemps“, „Vollmond“ and „Kontakthof“, includes also carefully chosen archival material featuring Pina Bausch as well as imaginative, short solo works by dancers from the company. To achieve his goals, Wim Wenders used Pina’s favourite methodology of “questioning” – a method she would use when creating new work. She would pose questions to the dancers and the dancers would respond; not with words, but with their voices of their bodies. They would dance out their most intimate emotions and individual experiences upon  which Pina Bausch would, through an intensive work process, build  onto her own piece.  He would film on different locations different solos which would contribute to the dancers individualities, and at the same time they would present exciting additions to the already composed works. 

Marion Cito, long term costume designer of Tanztheater Wuppertal reflects on this experience with Wim Wenders and the whole film crew:   „Like many yof my colleagues, I too find it hard to believe that Pina Bausch is no longer amongst us. It will take a long time still for this grief to pass. Still, I feel that she lives through her pieces. All that I do, even during this shoot, I do for Pina and this helps. I am convinced   that what Wenders is undertaking is truly magnificent. “


New Territories:

PINA is not only the first European 3D film, it’s the first ever in the world art film produced in 3D. Producer Gian Piero Ringel didn’t have an easy task: “Technology wise, and considering the type of film, we are entering virgin territorities with the film PINA. The challenge is greater as we have to find technologically capable people who are available to work with us for they are few. At present, the use of the 3D digital processing is also developing a new film language – this in itself is a specific challenge for a producer. A number of other directors are still reluctant to apply 3D, especially as there aren’t any existing successful examples. We wanted to be the pioneers in  developing  a 3D cinematographic language.”

Conquering new territories requires specific efforts: “ All who were involved in the production had to know how to produce a 3D dance film. What works for 2D isn’t always applicable for 3D. Because of this distinction it was necessary to undertake more complex research.” Producer Erwin M. Schmidt remembers: “During the learning process which still is in place, we had to determine some very specific things from the start: how do we undertake in 3D the preparation, the shoot, the postproduction…”  

Dominique Mercy one of the two artistic directors from Wuppertal Tanztheater exlcaimes with enthusiasm:  “New 3D technology opens up new perspectives of how we see Tanztheater. To work on this with Wim Wenders and his team is an exceptional experience. It is a vast journey of discovery. Wim Wenders is continually discovering more and more about what Tanztheater could be, and we together with the film crew are discovering a new way of working. “

The Shoot:

PINA is a film shot in Wuppertal in three phases: in Autumn of 2009, in Spring and in Summer of 2010. The first phase included  „Café Müller", „Le Sacre du printemps" and  „Vollmond" performed on the stage of the Opera House in Wuppertal, with some parts shot live before an audience. A very condensed performance and touring schedule that Tanztheater was in the midst of preparing for, allowed for only two periods to shoot the film.   In addition to this, the already complex 3D shoot became even more complex when it meant shooting real situations, because live performances could not be stopped nor repeated.  

For the purposes of the 3D visual composition Wim Wenders managed to convince Alain Derobe, one of the most experienced 3D pioneers in areas of stereography, to join the team.  For the purposes of this film, Derobe designed a special mount for the 3D camera which was hoisted onto a crane. To achieve the effect of spatial depth it was really important to be very close to the dancers. Alain Derobe remembers: “ The  cameras would ordinarily be positioned   in front of the stage and thus quite removed from the actual action on stage.   For the film PINA the cameras were positioned in the midst of the dancers so that the camera itself would dance with them. This meant that each member of the team had to not only understand but know the choreography.   Everyone had to know at each moment of the dance where the dancers are and what their next move would be to ensure that the camera follows but does not obstruct.”  

Peter Pabst, set designer for Tanztheater Wuppertal since 1980 and also the artistic director for the film production PINA explains: “ With the 3D technology Wim Wenders managed to translate the very essence of the choreographies of Tanztheater.”  To transition beyond the stage and into the audience was a very important part of choreography. The dancers are always in contact with the audience, they even step down from the stage. It was always extremely important to Pina Bausch that each detail of the choreography is primarily completed in the head, then moves to the eyes, then the heart and then into the souls and sentiments of the audience.
With PINA Wim Wenders has conquered new territories in film, however already during the shoot he was heard to say: “However much we need this third dimension, we are at the same time putting a lot of effort to have the audience forget this “conquering of the space”.  Plasticity should not attract by itself, it has to be invisible for Pina’s art to be even more vivid.


“A must-see." Variety
"Thrilling and revelatory."
The Observer
"Beguiling magic."
The Telegraph
"Wim Wenders and Pina Bausch…a perfect match."
Hollywood Reporter
"Beautiful and moving."
Time Out
The Independent
"A thrilling piece of cinema. Five stars."
The Times
"Eloquent and exhilarating."
Screen International

The Observer | 21.02.2011.
Nick James, Editor of Sight & Sound reviewed the best of the Berlin Film
Festival in The Observer, describing PINA as one of a few "outstanding films".

"Pina, Wim Wenders's 3D tribute to the late choreographer-dancer Pina Bausch, for instance, was thrilling and revelatory. As a spectator, to be positioned by the camera above, beside and amid the dancers of Bausch's Wuppertal troupe is not unlike floating bodiless through more solid phantoms. All of Bausch's best-known pieces are present: her interpretation of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring", in which feral single-sex gangs stomp on a layer of brown earth, or her "Café Müller",
where female dancers staggering about with closed eyes have faith that male partners will remove chairs from their path. Wenders sets several dances – and purists may baulk at this – in spectacular outdoor locations; for me the experience was nothing but uplifting."

The Telegraph | 18.02.2011
"This tribute to the amazing German-born dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch is the major homegrown triumph of the [Berlin Film] festival. It's also one of the first non-Hollywood films to exploit the possibilities of 3D in a rigorous and progressive way.

Staging four of the late Bausch's most celebrated works with key members of her company, Wenders has some marvellously inventive visual strategies up his sleeve: diaphanous drapes, for instance, layer the image and create extra spaces for the performers to occupy. The 3D allows foreground and background choreography to interact and weave a textured, beguiling magic."

The Independent | 18.02.2011
"The 3D in Pina is used in [equally] magical fashion. As Wenders films some of Bausch's most celebrated productions, mounted by the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch ensemble, he is able to give his images an extraordinary depth of focus.

Dancers float in front of us, or race out of the shadows. A feature doc about an avant-garde German choreographer who died two years ago doesn't seem like a commercial proposition. However, fans of Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan should relish Pina. Bausch's productions were characterised by the same intensity, violence and eroticism that made Aronofsky's film so startling."
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