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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Pina [Blu-ray]

 

(Wim Wenders, 2011)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Neue Road Movies

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #644

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:43:46.637

Disc Size: 48,788,218,594 bytes

Feature Size: 31,166,699,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.22 Mbps

Chapters: 22

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: January 22nd, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3613 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3613 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Audio commentary featuring Wenders
The Making of “Pina” (45:33)
• 14 Deleted scenes, with commentary by Wenders (about 2-minutes each)
Behind-the-scenes footage (5 chapters)
Interview with Wenders (22:27)
Trailer (1:41)
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt; reprinted pieces by Wenders and Pina Bausch; a guide to the dances featured in the film; and portraits of the dancers

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The boundless imagination and physical marvels of the work of the German modern-dance pioneer Pina Bausch leap off the screen in this exuberant tribute by Wim Wenders. A long-planned film collaboration between the director and the choreographer was in preproduction when Bausch died in 2009. Two years later, Wenders decided to go ahead with the project, reconceiving it as an homage to his late friend. The result, shot in stunning 3D, is a remarkable visual experience and a vivid representation of Bausch’s art, enacted by a group of staggeringly talented dancers from her company, the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Pina is an adventurous work of cinema that highlights the bold legacy of one of the world’s true creative visionaries.

 

 

The Film:

Words are the enemy in Wim Wenders’s mysterious, submersive and captivating 3D tribute to German dance pioneer Pina Bausch, who died in 2009 just as Wenders, the director of ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ and ‘Wings of Desire’, was beginning to make this film. One by one, the dancers of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the company she ran for 36 years, talk of her unwillingness to explain herself in words. ‘Dance for love,’ one of her colleagues remembers her saying, recalling it as one of the few instructions he received from Bausch in years of working with her. ‘Go on searching’ and ‘What are we longing for?’ are two other rare comments which the dancers recall her sharing with them.

Wenders takes his cue from Bausch’s Trappist approach to making art. We don’t hear or see him. And while he nearly embraces a talking-head element in his otherwise deeply unconventional film, he pulls back from the actual talking bit: we see Bausch’s colleagues, filmed in close-up for Wenders’s camera, but they are silent and we only hear their words. There’s also little of Bausch herself apart from a few cleverly inserted snippets of footage of her dancing or sitting, smoking, behind her desk in the rehearsal room.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Pina Bausch was one of Europe's most celebrated choreographers, fusing the discipline of ballet with the freedom of modern dance and approaching her material in a bold, innovative and emotionally compelling manner. Bausch made the acquaintance of German filmmaker Wim Wenders, and he began making a documentary about her life and work. The focus of Wenders' film shifted dramatically in 2009, when Bausch was diagnosed with cancer and died only a few days later. Wenders considered abandoning the project, but after meeting with the members of her dance company, Tanztheater Wuppertal, Wenders chose instead to create a cinematic interpretation of Bausch's art, preserving several of her pieces and the work of her dancers for the ages. Pina is the result, a performance film that takes several of Bausch's dance pieces into the open and celebrates the beauty and physicality of dance; the film was shot in 3D to give a greater sense of the power and interplay of bodies in motion. Pina received its North American premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly the Criterion Blu-ray of Wim Wenders' Pina is a 2-disc package with the 3D version on one Blu-ray and the 2D, covered here, on the second Blu-ray disc.  Primarily shot on HD, and printed on 35mm the resulting image is highly impressive. Hardly any of the deficiencies of this new production format are visible on this dual-layered 1080P transferred image. The visuals are crisp and vibrant offering a solid representation. The archival sequences of Pina Bausch are appropriately grainy reflecting the source material. The mesmerizing dance scenes seem meant for Blu-ray giving them a huge presence. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and contrast and detail are pristine. They are frequent examples of depth. You really feel like you are watching this 'live'. I can't image how impressive the 3D is. This Blu-ray supplies a absolutely wonderful 1080P presentation - miles ahead of the Artificial Eye DVD, reviewed HERE.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Thom Hanreich's original score via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3613 kbps and pieces like Purcell's "O Let Me Weep, For Ever Weep" also sound... perfect. Naturally subdued the music carries behind the dancing as it flows and leads the presentation. The dialogue is narration - description of Pina by the dancers and overall there is little separation - but this is accurate to the production.  There are optional English subtitles for the multi-languages utilized (German, English, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Slovenian) and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.

 

Extras :

There are plenty of valuable supplements including an audio commentary featuring Wenders recorded by Criterion in 2011, an extensive Making of “Pina” running over 3/4 of an hour. There are 14 Deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Wenders (about 2-minutes each) mostly excerpts from a variety of Pina Bausch's pieces. There are 5 segmented Behind-the-scenes footage, a 22 minute interview with Wenders recorded by Criterion in 2011 to promote the film. Lastly we have a trailer and the package contains a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt; reprinted pieces by Wenders and Pina Bausch; a guide to the dances featured in the film; and portraits of the dancers.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Stunning. Pina is brilliant. Dance morphs into cinema... right before our eyes. This is an immediate a masterpiece transfixing all who view it. I've seen in 3 times already showing it to a 1/2 dozen friends. It is filled with positiveness, athleticism, balance and sheer beauty. The Criterion Blu-ray package is magnificent - the most amazing release early in this year. Our strongest recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

January 9th, 2013


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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