One Day Pina Asked . . .

One Day Pina Asked . . . (1983), Chantal Akerman’s TV documentary about German choreographer Pina Bausch, was made during a pivotal chapter in Akerman’s career, during which the Belgian filmmaker combined her minimalist style (most evident in her 1975 epic Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles) with elements of classic movie musicals. The previous year Akerman had released Toute une Nuit, a series of narrative fragments on the themes of romantic longing and fulfillment; there’s no singing, but the stylized sets and the characters’ dancelike movements suggest a sort of visual music. After that Akerman launched her first full-blown musical, The Golden Eighties (released in the U.S. as Window Shopping); typically obsessed by her own creative process, she also used footage from the extended rehearsals to create the experimental documentary Les Années 80 (1983), which many prefer to The Golden Eighties. Continue reading >>