World-renowned performer, choreographer, and dance teacher Pina Bausch is credited with saying something along the lines of: “I’m not interested in how people move; I’m interested in what makes them move.” This weekend two new documentaries hit theaters in New Orleans that are sure to inspire a little dancing in everyone.
The German born Pina Bausch became a leading influence in the world of modern dance in the 1970s after studying at Julliard and with many of the world’s top choreographers. Though well-known in the theatre and arts world, she reached a wider, international audience with a collaboration and appearance in the 2002 Pedro Almodóvar film Talk to Her, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Acclaimed filmmaker and fellow countryman Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas; Wings of Desire; Buena Vista Social Club) has long been in development on documentary on the legendary Pina, but the project was nearly abandoned after her untimely death in 2009. The film evolved into a tribute of the late choreographer, with awe-inspring visuals worthy of Pina’s most celebrated work. The documentary, simply titled Pina, is a 3-D experience like no other.
A tribute to choreographer Pina Bausch and her her unique style – a blend of movements, sounds, and prominent stage sets, plus an elaborate cooperation with performers during the composition of a piece.
Watch the trailer for the film posted in the VIDEO box on the left side of the article.
Pina was Germany’s official submission to this year’s Academy Awards. Though it did not make the final cut for Best Foreign Film, but it did pick up a Best Documentary nomination, ultimately losing out to Undefeated.
Though rarely utilized in documentary filmmaking, Pina is presented in 3-D, a technique last used in a documentary to great success by Werner Herzog’s A Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010). Both of these recent great films make a strong case for Hollywood’s current 3-D obsession, not only in documentary films, but features too, as long as the technique is used properly (which unfortunately is not always the case).
The New Orleans Film Society and The Prytania Theatre co-present a screening of the 3-D documentary film Pina on Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 pm at The Prytania. The film will then screen for One Week Only at the theatre at Noon, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00, and 10:00 pm (no noon showing on Sat, Sun, Wed).
Tickets for the event are $13 general admission / $11 for NOFS members.
Another dance film is opening this weekend in the city, only this kind of dancing is . . . well, a little different.
Crazy Horse takes viewers inside the legendary Crazy Horse cabaret in Paris for acinéma vérité look at the club that boasts the greatest and most chic nude dancing in the world.
In Crazy Horse, acclaimed documentarian Frederick Wiseman pulls back the curtain on Le Crazy Horse de Paris, a landmark that has prided itself as “the best nude dancing show in the world” since 1951.
Le Crazy Horse sets itself apart from the average strip club by adhering to exacting standards in choreography, lights, and physiques. The erotic revue is composed of songs and sequences that blend traits of old-fashioned burlesque, Bob Fosse, and Cirque du Soleil, designed not only for the enjoyment of men, but also couples.
The film shows us the rehearsals for and the unveiling of the brand new show created by the renowned French choreographer Phillippe Decoufle.
Crazy Horse is directed by Frederick Wiseman, a legend in the documentary business (Titicut Follies, High School, Hospital, Boxing Gym). Wiseman’s films are shot with a mixture of the cinéma vérité style of realistic naturalism and stylistic editing techniques/camerawork. His studies often focus on a single social institution’s day-to-day actions observed over the short period of a few weeks.
Frederick Wiseman is one America’s great documentarians, yet his films are really seen, even his most respected works. The Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center is offering the unique and wonderful chance for New Orleans-area filmlovers to see the most recent work of this much-admired filmmaker.
Crazy Horse will screen at Zeitgeist starting Friday, March 2 with a screening nightly at 7:30 pm.
Tickets to Zeitgeist screenings are: $8 general admission / $7students + seniors / $6 Zeitgeist members + children / Free Zeitgeist Patrons – or – see two films in one night for $5 each. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance online at the Zeitgeist website.
So come out to the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center (1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. New Orleans) this weekend and take advantage of this unique film-going experience and all the Zeitgeist Arts Center has to offer. And by doing so, help support one the premier alternative arts center in the South.
You can also visit the Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center’s website here.
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