LONDON – Wim Wenders wanted to make a dance movie for 20 years, but had to wait for technology to catch up with his imagination.
The German director said Tuesday that he needed the power of 3-D to make “Pina,” a tribute to the late choreographer Pina Bausch that was nominated Tuesday for a best documentary feature Academy Award.
Wenders originally planned to make a film in collaboration with Bausch, director of the innovative Tanztheater Wuppertal, but the film became a tribute to the German choreographer after her death in 2009.
“For 20 years I wished I could imagine this film, and I didn’t think I could because my art could not come up with the goods,” Wenders said from his Berlin office.
“I think 3-D has a glorious future, especially in the documentary field, because it is the best way to bring an audience into the world of the film.”
Another 3-D film, Martin Scorsese’s Parisian fantasy “Hugo,” leads the Oscars race with 11 nominations.
The other contenders for best documentary feature are Afghan war film “Hell and Back Again”; eco-saga “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”; high school football documentary “Undefeated”; and “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” about the West Memphis Three, U.S. teenagers jailed for a notorious triple child slaying two decades ago. It was nominated despite a request by families of the victims for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to exclude the film from consideration.
Winners of the 84th annual Oscars will be announced at a Feb. 26 ceremony in Hollywood.
Wenders, 66, praised the breadth of films being made under the documentary label.
“There are classic documentaries, documentaries that have more of a television language and more ambitious documentaries,” he said. “‘Waltz With Bashir’ a few years ago was a documentary. ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ (Wenders’ Oscar-nominated Cuban music documentary) was a documentary, even if it looked like a fairy tale.
“If it does justice to the thing it is about, that is the main thing.”