By Hope and George
As Werner Herzog reminded us with last year’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, 3D has the power to redefine cinema in the hands of a truly inspired director. This time around Wim Wenders finds inspiration in iconic modern dancer/choreographer Pina Bausch. His transcendent documentary is Pina, available this week for your queue. Whether or not you have the wherewithal to see either filmmaker’s jump to the small screen in its 3D version, both are must see documentaries.
A spectacle from the word go, Pina surrounds you with the modern dance masterpieces of the deceased choreographer, cutting periodically to briefer pieces composed by Pina’s devoted dancers in honor of their departed maestro. Wenders’s camera takes you inside the dance, surrounding you in movements manifesting everything from whimsy to absurdity to joy to savage grace. His film is as adoring a tribute as you’ll find, but it also serves as a welcome initiation for many to the work of perhaps the greatest modern dance choreographer in history.
And what the heck, just make it a double feature with Herzog’s absolutely stunning look inside the Chauvet caves in France. Preserved with great care by the French government, the caves are home to the oldest pictorial art in the history of humankind.
Herzog and his film crew were granted a small window of unprecedented access to showcase the caves and their portal to a time roughly 30,000 years ago. The result almost defies description, as you not only witness art of an incredibly sophisticated nature, but hear intimate echoes of this ancient civilization.