Must-See 3-D: Wim Wenders' 'Pina' Gets Oscar Nod

Jan 24, 2012

Wim Wenders' visually arresting tribute to German dance legend Pina Bausch has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Wim Wenders on the set of "Pina." Enlarge image Wim Wenders on the set of "Pina." (© dpa - Bildfunk)

Wenders, the German director with a keen eye for Americana behind such transatlantically acclaimed classics as "Alice in the Cities (Alice in den Städten)" (1974), "Paris, Texas" (1984) and "Wings of Desire (Der Himmel Über Berlin)" (1987), made his first foray into 3-D technology with "Pina" (2011).

The film, by Wenders and producer Gian-Piero Ringel, which showcases the life's work of the world-renowned, Wuppertal-based dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch, who died in 2009, is one of five nominees for an Academy Award in the Documentary (Feature) category.

Wenders was previously nominated for the same award in 1999 for his documentary film "Buena Vista Social Club," about a legendary Cuban music ensemble named after a club popular in pre-Castro Havana.

Pina Bausch (2009) Enlarge image Pina Bausch (2009) (© dpa - Bildfunk)

"It's a wonderful thing to have a chance now for the second time since 'Buena Vista Social Club' to take part in the Oscar race in the 'best documentary' category - especially as we are thereby the first 3-D film to be so honored," Wenders' said upon hearing of the nomination as reported by German newsmagazine Der Spiegel.

"Pina" has received rave reviews in the United States.

The New York Times has hailed it as "ravishing." According to The Grey Lady: "Mr. Wenders uses the 3-D format to capture the elusive essence of dance, not only preserving Ms. Bausch's art but also clarifying its intentions and making visible its inspirations."

And Entertainment Weekly has implied that anyone will love this movie: "One of the year's 10 best! Absolutely spectacular. You say you don't care about dance, or the avant-garde, or even 3-D? Doesn't matter. Put on the funny glasses and be wowed."

A scene from "Pina." Enlarge image A scene from "Pina." (© dpa - Bildfunk)

The other documentary film nomineess "Pina" will be up against when the 84th Academy Awards are broadcast live in Hollywood on February 26 are: "Hell and Back Again" (Director: Danfung Dennis), about US Marines deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan; "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" (Directors: Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman), about a radical American environmental movement; "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" (Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky), about three teenagers wrongfully convicted of murder in Arkansas; and "Undefeated" (Director: Stephen Bannon), about Sarah Palin.

Another German production nominated for an Oscar was "Raju," directed by Max Zähle and produced by Stefan Giere, which will go up against four other contendors in the Short Film (Live Action) category. Set in India and spawned via the Hamburg Media School/Filmwerkstatt, it has won many film prizes, including a bronze medal in the Foreign Film category at the 38th Student Academy Awards in 2011.

At the same time, the Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender, who was nominated as Best Actor for a Golden Globe Award for his role in the British drama "Shame," did not make the final cut in the same category for the Academy Awards.

Fassbender lost out on January 15 at the Golden Globes in Hollywood to George Clooney, who took home the best actor award for his sensitive portrayal of a widowed father in "The Descendants."


German Film

© picture-alliance/dpa

An Oscar Dance for "Pina"? Director Wenders in New York


The Wim Wenders film "Pina," European Film Award winner for Best Documentary and Germany's Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film, has finally arrived in New York. The inventive German filmmaker made several appearances this weekend at theaters in the city to speak on the making of the documentary about the late modern dance pioneer Pina Bausch.  


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