My response to Pina 3D

I went to a Houston preview screening of Pina 3D, and it’s taken me until now to finally write about what I saw. Last week, Billy Bell tweeted “see the problem is I’ve watched Pina like 10 times…” and “#itsstillnotenough.”   I did fall in love with the film, but forgive me Wim, I can’t provide the same box office boost.  I would love to see it again, and probably again and again, but I’ve needed a breather.  The power of the drama, the imagery, the performance, and the production was so intense that I found my stomach in knots after the screening.  Pina is one of the most visually beautiful and tormented dance films I’ve seen.

With vibrant eyes and voiceovers from the dancers, Pina’s choreography was punctuated with glimpses of what it was like working with the iconic choreographer. Even after twenty years of working with Pina, they were still in awe of her.  Like she was worthy of their worship.  Imagine being that captivating.

There is something similar about each of these striking dancers, old and young.  I saw something in their eyes: clarity and intensity.  I remember someone asking Paul Taylor how he chooses his dancers.  He said that it’s something in the eyes.  And if the eyes are the windows to the soul, Pina was clearly looking in.

I am struck by the restraint of the choreography.  So much depth of storytelling and still no extraneous movement. Null.  Pina is the epitome of “less is more.”

The 3D was effective and never verged into gimmick.  I may be one of the biggest critics of 3D.  Yes, it’s where we’re going.  Yes, it requires more skill and discretion.  And this filmmaker approves.


Opening this weekend in Houston as part of the Houston Cinema Arts Society Festival, I urge you to go.  Pina is so visually stunning, you won’t regret it.  Nov. 9-13.


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