Category Archives: Film

Welcome to Pine Hill by Keith Miller

Welcome to Pine Hill

After a year of touring and winning countless prizes, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival, I saw Welcome to Pine Hill, written, directed and edited by my former professor, Keith Miller.

If there was one thing I learned from Miller, it was to go with what challenges arose and work through them, to explore new territory. This film, in its creation and its narrative, does exactly that. Miller first met the star of the film, Shanon Harper, through a chance encounter, a scene that opens the film. We then follow Harper through his reformed life as an insurance claims adjuster and his diagnosis of cancer.

Throughout the film there is a beauty in the silence, in what is unsaid, much akin to a Kelly Reichardt film. Miller’s outlook, however, is that of empathy and understanding. He sees Harper as someone dealing with the circumstances, navigating heightened realities, and confronting his death. Harper eventually finds peace and the viewer is left to stew in his mortality.

All in all, from a chance encounter to a full-length film, Miller explores the many paths in life and how we should set aside our differences.

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Pina 3D by Wim Wenders

Pina Bauschdance, dance, otherwise we are lost – Pina Bausch

Filmmaker, Wim Wenders, creates an extraordinary experience in dance, film, and storytelling in his 3D film about legendary dancer and choreographer, Pina Bausch.

Pina 3D captures Pina’s unique choreography, her demanding works, her incredible dancers, and her amazing legacy featuring excerpts from Le Sacre du printemps, 1975, Café Müller, 1978, Kontakthof, 2000 and Vollmond, 2006. In addition, Wenders invited the dancers of the ensemble to perform solos using Pina’s method of “questioning,” which served as an answer as to how to create the film without Pina (who died unexpectedly just two days before filming began).

Pina 3D PointeThe solos were shot on location throughout Wuppertal, Germany and the surrounding landscapes, making for a stunning backdrop to the intense and dramatic performances by these dedicated dancers. My two favorite excerpts from the solos included a woman stuffing raw veal into her pointe shoes and dancing in front of a refinery and another woman dancing on a median in Wuppertal as the elevated rail goes around a bend.

Pina 3DNot only was the subject intriguing and beautiful, but the film-making captured dance in a way that no other film has been able to. With the use of 3D technology, the audience was invited to engage in the works by feeling the depth of the staging and the depth of meaning. Pina 3D is the first European 3D film and the first 3D art house film (produced by Neue Road Movies).

But what is most interesting is the way that Pina’s presence is felt throughout the film. She lives in the choreography and in the souls of the dancers (even when they are not dancing). Thus proving her legacy as a choreography.

All in all, Pina 3D is a visual and visceral experience in dance unlike any other film.

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