Festival Report by Aaron Chakraborty
Cunningham 3D was my pick of the movies I had the pleasure of seeing at the Atlantic International Film Festival. It’s a documentary about the late choreographer Merce Cunningham, and was a visual treat from start to finish. Watching the act of dance on film always highlights the dynamic nature of the medium, and the routines sprinkled throughout these understated 93 minutes were poetry in motion.
Unlike many documentaries, Cunningham 3D has no artificial narrative and does not attempt to contort the topic to fit a traditional story structure (think the concert movie which injects tension through the band rushing to write songs before the tour starts). Instead, we learn (in photos, interviews, footage, and letters), about the life and career of the enigmatic Merce Cunningham. The structure of the film itself is an ode to his creativity – the rhythm of presentation is always changing, and we jump even from contemporary dance to abstract poetry in a loose journey of his life from start to finish. I knew nothing of the man (or of dance itself) before watching this film. It successfully made me a fan of both subjects.
Cunningham 3D is a bright and unpredictable biopic that I recommend to all viewers. The film festival was a similarly joyous experience, marked by awesome volunteer work and a real sense of community, so I’m grateful to the Cinema and Media Studies program at Dal for providing me with tickets. Thanks!