Monday, March 12, 2012
Family Adventures: Pina
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Every week, I pick up a copy of Seven Days, Burlington's weekly newspaper to plot out potential weekend adventures. This week, the film Pina caught my eye. A documentary about dance seemed promising given Our Girl's enthusiasm for ballet so I suggested we head to the Roxy, our local art theater, for a Saturday screening. Despite the fact that this was my idea, I had two misgivings about the movie. The first was the subtitles. Pina is a German film but also includes interviews in French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and probably other languages I didn't recognize. The review, though, suggested that the dancing is precedent with the interviews voiced over the dance sequence. Our Girl has sat through subtitled movies with us before. While she's a solid reader, we do occasionally have to read some of them aloud to her - won't fly in a movie theater.
My second concern was the PG rating for "some sensuality/partial nudity and smoking." Hmm. Our Girl is 8. Not sure. Further research attributed the concerns to some see-through clothing and artistic nudity. Hmm.
My Wife and I talked it over and she said she wasn't too worried, about either the subtitles or the rating issues. I suppose this is what the rating system is meant to do - to inform families about film content so we can make thoughtful choices - and better that we watch it together and give her the chance to talk about anything that bothers her or us.
All of that aside, the film itself is very good - Germany's submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. It demonstrated a lot about what a documentary can be. The dance scenes were moved to different locations around the city of Wuppertal, including one particularly funny segment shot on a monorail car. There were a lot of interesting camera tricks, too. Special effects in a documentary? Is that kosher?
As for my concerns, the language was no big deal at all. Our Girl said she could read the subtitles just fine - silly me for worrying! As for the sensuality matter, it was definitely risque. I would never be able to show it in school, to be sure. But as for actual skin, I only caught one nip-slip.
("But you had to be looking for it," says I.
"Oh, and of course, YOU were looking for it," says My Wife.
"Yes," I respond, "but only because I was worried!")
Regardless, Our Girl seemed undisturbed and claimed she really enjoyed the movie. I feel a bit more justified in worrying about this one but I think we were right to take the chance. If she brings it up in therapy years from now, we may have to answer for it.
Overall, I'd give Pina three stars out of five. It's a great film and certainly a strong three but I don't feel a need to ever watch it again - my criterion for a four. The dancing can definitely tend toward the weird - I prefer ballet to modern, as does Our Girl - but it was undoubtedly technically solid. Particularly memorable was a dancer diving head first from a chair onto the stage before being caught by one of her male counterparts.
Overall, last week was a very positive week. School budgets passed in both the town where we live and the one where I work. My re-licensing paperwork was approved. And, I scored my first broomball goal!
The ice rink was out of commission for the past two weekends - something wrong with the freezing apparatus or some such. So, we had a couple of unexpected bye weeks before Friday's game. My goal was set up by a pretty pass from our best player. We shall call him Slim - because he is. Slim had the ball just to the right of the goal, facing away from me, drawing the defense. I snuck in front of the goal and said his name, not yelling but just loud enough for him to hear. He passed it to me between his legs and I just had to knock it into the net - pretty slick, I must say. For me, it was mostly a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I was glad enough not to screw it up. Now that I have that monkey off my back, I'm going to work more on my passing.
Oh, we still lost: 4-3. Maybe next time.