Critical Darling

Oh, happy day and thanks be to Zarathustra! Wings of Desire director Wim Wenders’ 3D dance film Pina is scheduled for release in 2011, and readers, it is 2011! Pre-production came to a halt in 2009 when Pina Bausch — the brilliant German tanztheater (“dance theatre”) choreographer — shed her mortal coil. Now all the yous and mes who were never lucky enough to witness one of her company’s performances in person (and definitely not on television, since the artist was particularly prickly about broadcasting), can be rapt for two hours by her weird, beautiful, visceral visions. Watch the trailer here: And I mean now.

If that got your boxers/briefs/panties heated up, be sure to add to your calendar of social events the AtticRep’s presentation of Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema on January 21-23 (

By the way, a joyous New Year to you. The author of this fortnightly column doesn’t believe in resolutions — at least not those in the vein of “I will learn to speak `insert foreign language`” or “I will no longer `insert favorite vice`” — because really the last thing I need is one of those smug, yellow Rosetta Stone boxes lying around, still unopened at this time next year, looking at me like I’m a failure (or “échec,” as they say in France, amirite, mes frères?). The only ostensibly enriching, totally doable thing I’ve decided to force on myself in 2011 is The Seventh Seal, which I was too scared to finish in ’08 or thereabouts. This year I say bring it, Bergman.

But far be it from me to keep other more ambitious folk from starting the year off with the added weight of actual responsibilities on their shoulders. For example, Louis Black — not the curmudgeonly one, but the Austin Chronicle and SXSW-co-founding one, who is possibly also curmudgeonly, I wouldn’t know — has co-founded yet another artsy doohickey: the Texas Independent Film Network (, which press materials describe as a “statewide coalition of film societies, universities and independent theaters united for the purpose of screening Texas-made independent film.” Screening events commence next month with a showcase of early short films from now-famous Texan directors, such as Richard Linklater, Robert Rodríguez, and Wes Anderson.

Speaking of independent filmmaking, here’s your second warning, hotshots: submissions for the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project ( are due in just over one month, on February 18. If that deadline’s not giving you a panic attack, remember: your San Antonio Film Festival ( contenders are due one week later, on February 25. Break a leg! XO.

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