Pina – Directed by Wim Wenders Review

I love watching dance programs and movies and while the choreography is brilliant, as far the movies are concerned, the plot leaves a lot to be desired. Most of them have more or less the same plot, to the point where one is indistinguishable from another. And this is where Pina differs.

The movie was initially supposed to be a collaborative effort between Pina Bausch and Wim Wenders but for the longest time, nothing happened because Wenders didn’t think that he could accurately capture dance, he did not want to simply record a dance performance, he wanted the audience to feel like they were part of the performance. Like they were watching it live on stage. Things changed when he saw Avatar. He realized that the 3D technology would be the perfect way to film and he and Pina started working on the film once again. A major setback came with her sudden death, mere days before filming was supposed to start. Production stalled again since he couldn’t possible make the film without its subject, its muse.  Wenders was then approached by Pina’s friends and her dance company, Tanztheatre to make the film an homage to her.

This film was my introduction to modern ballet. So far, I thought that there was one kind of ballet, the kind we see with Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and so on. But what I saw in the film was something completely different from my pre-conceived notions of what I thought ballet was. I had never seen anything like this before and I thought that it was absolutely mesmerizing. With classical ballet, the dance is used to tell a particular story but with modern ballet, the dance is the story. It is abstract and that leaves it open for multiple interpretations while the broader theme is fairly obvious. Which also why her dance company was called Tanztheatre, it was a union of dance and theatre i.e drama. The films focuses on some specific performances that Pina choreographed and it also features interviews from people in her company.

The film is also one of the best 3D films I have seen till date. It uses the technology so well and really makes you feel like it’s happening right in front of you, as if you are on the stage with the performers. Another thing that I really liked about the film was that it took the dances outside the theatre, for instance, performing in an empty dockyard or a train compartment. It was an interesting to see these performances in such a strange setting, outside the confines of a theatre. And it is visually stunning with images that stay with you long after the film is over.

The point of the film was to showcase her contribution to the world of modern ballet and I think it did that beautifully and made me fall in love with her work. I only wish there had been more archival footage of her performances. What little I saw of her left me speechless; I didn’t know that people could move like that, like there were no bones in her body. Her movements were so emotive that you had to made of granite to not be moved by what you saw. I am so glad that I was fortunate enough to have seen it on the big screen. One of my favourite films, I absolutely loved it!


Lux Series vs. The Covenant Series

Ok, so I love both series and I actually read Half Blood before I did Obsidian and initially both seemed very evenly matched  (I might have actually preferred Covenant over Lux) but since I read the last book from both series, I find myself veering more towards Lux (I can hardly contain my excitement for Opal)

In terms of the main protagonist: Alex in Covenant and Katy in Lux, both are great characters and pretty different, but what they do have in common is that they are loyal to a fault and both are willing to risk their own lives to protect those they love and care about. I love both so the only thing that I think made me change my mind is Daemon. He is so much more interesting than Aiden. Aiden is the all-round nice guy to a point where it very becomes very easy to predict his actions. Don’t get me wrong, I think its great, the lengths he’s willing to go to to protect Alex but he’s just not very interesting. Seth on the other hand, is far more interesting and would be great except we already know that he’s mostly using Alex for her father and while he may have some genuine feelings for her, they get over-shadowed by the fact that they are both Appolyons. At this point, his thirst for power is the only priority for Seth. And I guess once Alex finds out what his true motivations are, she’s not gonna be very thrilled.

Daemon, on the other hand, is harder to figure out. It is fairly obvious, after reading Onyx, that he really does care for Katy and is willing to protect her sometimes even at the cost of possibly alienating people he’s known all his life.  But he’s a much more fun character. He is what he is and is not about to apologise for it. There’s no pretense with him, what you see is what you get. He doesn’t mince his words and so often that starts such great arguments between him and Katy. Not to mention, his POVs are like the highlights of the book (I bought 2nd edition of Obsidian just because it had his POVs that we hadn’t read before, crazy, I know..) I’ve read both Aiden and Seth POV and while they are fun, somehow they’re not quite (for lack for a better word) that awesome. While I was reading Onyx, I couldn’t wait to read Daemon’s POV and then I was disappointed that there was only one!!

Of course, it is also completely possible that I think this only because it’s been a while since we had a Covenant novel and I read Onyx not very long ago. Who knows, Deity will be so awesome that I will change my mind yet again. Too bad, we have to wait till November 6th!

UPDATE: Having read both Deity and Elixir, I have to say that I fallen in love with Aiden all over again!!! I don’t think its possible to read those two books and not have that reaction.. And now, I also can’t stand Seth! UGH!!! SO ANNOYING! Can’t believe it took people so long to see through his empty charm (I am sure that towards the end of the series he will probably come to his senses and maybe try and save Alex and thus he will redeem himself) having said that, I will be so pissed if Aiden dies that… well I can’t decide but nevertheless it will be bad.. He better not die (nor should Alex) and I hope they get the happily-ever-after which they so deserve. I know, I am jumping the gun and the end of Covenant is far, I just thought I should make it known.. I’m more protective of Covenant characters, isn’t that strange? Well, can’t be helped.

Looking forward to reading Opal which releases in December!