Monday, April 16, 2012

Red: An Encounter

I saw Pina last night--the new Wim Wenders film about the dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch. The image pictured above is a still from the film. I had wanted to see Pina for the past year, ever since I taught a class on post-WWII German film and got really into Wim Wenders. It's raw and intense, but not in a manner that is overly draining. And it's in 3D, which is really important to the experience of the film--it's in no way gratuitous or cool for the sake of cool.

The opening scene is all dirt (spread over a stage), barely clothed bodies with intense facial expressions, dramatic movements, and one piece of thin red fabric that we later see is a dress that one dancer will be forced to wear. But with the 3D component, I felt as if I were standing there at the edge of the dirt in and among them. At one point a dancer brings the red fabric to the edge, where I felt I stood, and looked right at me before dropping the fabric at my feet.

It was one of the most intense encounters with the recognition of responsibility that I've ever experienced. This woman, the agony on her face, her eyes piercing me, the red fabric laying at my feet, the horde of dancers now at the opposite end of the stage watching me--what was I to do with it? Where had it come from? Why was it suddenly mine?

And I could hear them breathing. Dirt, sweat, breath, and one red flash: our origins.

I had suddenly become its hostage. And it occurs to me now that this is always the texture of responsibility--what it necessarily looks and feels like. The sense of horror comes from the agony of both ownership and captivity. I could not look away, and now I keep looking back to that first moment of the film.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Radical Departure

Most often I recoil from posting anything of too personal a nature on this blog--especially in the form of photographs. Clearly I subscribe to a different brand of self-indulgence. But we just loved working with these photographers so much that I couldn't resist posting a link to some of our wedding photos on their blog. I'm still as dark and deliciously unhappy as ever, but I do love these photographs. I hate to say that they make me happy, but . . .