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Think Out Loud

Wim Wenders on "Pina"

Pete Springer/OPB

The celebrated German film director Wim Wenders first saw Pina Bausch’s choreography 27 years ago, when his girlfriend dragged him to a performance in Venice. As he recently told the Seattle Times, that evening of dance changed his life: “I found myself on the edge of my seat after five minutes. To my heart’s amazement, I found myself weeping.”

Wenders and Bausch became friends, and often talked about collaborating on a film. For decades, Wenders says, he couldn’t figure out how to portray Bausch’s dances onscreen. It wasn’t until 3D movies exploded in popularity in the last few years that Wenders says he finally saw a way to capture the depth and vitality of his friend’s work.

Unfortunately, Bausch died of cancer in 2009, the year that they were finally going to start working on the film.

Wenders decided to shelve the project, but Bausch’s dancers convinced him to continue — to essentially make a movie for and about Bausch if he could no longer make one with her.

The result is Pina:

Wenders will be at Cinema 21 in Portland for two screenings and Q&As on Thursday, in association with the 35th Portland International Film Festival.

Have you seen Pina? Are you a fan of his previous work? What questions do you have for him?

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