UN JOUR PINA M’A DEMANDE / ONE DAY PINA ASKED

SYNOPSIS
In her sublime 1983 documentary on Pina Bausch and her dancers,
Chantal Akerman followed the choreographer and her troupe for five
weeks in several cities throughout Europe. This hour-long film captures
the grace of bodies in motion both onstage and behind it, with dressing
rooms filled with lithe, sinewy men and women slicking back hair,
adjusting ties, reapplying makeup. Unlike Wim Wenders’s 3-D Pina from
2011, which also includes excerpts from live stagings of Bausch’s pieces,
One Day is not freighted with the burden of commemoration. (Bausch
died right before shooting on Pina was to begin in 2009.) Akerman’s
approach to the material is more idiosyncratic than Wenders’s: She films
one dancer backstage, a tall, blond man who explains that during the
rehearsal for 1982’s Carnations, Bausch asked her performers what they
were proud of; he shows off for Akerman the AS L he learned in the U.S.
by signing “The Man I Love” to a scratchy recording. The moment seems a
touching non sequitur. But later we see him sign the Gershwin standard
again, to the same beat-up 78, this time in costume onstage—a solemn
moment that enriches our earlier delight in what had appeared as a
loose, one-off performance.

“Akerman’s film is a work of modestly daring wonder, of exploration and inspiration.
With her audacious compositions, decisive cuts, and tightrope-tremulous sense of
time-and her stark simplicity-it shares, in a way that Wenders’s film doesn’t, the
immediate exhilaration of the moment of creation. Akerman’s film is of a piece with
Bausch’s dances.”
—Richard Brody, The New Yorker

DIRECTOR
Chantal Akerman

SCREENPLAY
Chantal Akerman

CAST
Raymond Bussières
Jean Martin
Pascal Mazzotti
Agnès Viala

GENRE Documentary
LANGUAGE French
RUNNING TIME 57’
PRODUCTION Belgium, France, 1983
FORMAT(S) Digibeta, DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Icarus Films