My thoughts about the Tribute to Joseph Pilates Movie when seen at the World Premiere during the 2016 PMA Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
While at the 2016 Pilates Method Alliance Conference in Phoenix Arizona, I had the absolute privilege of attending the exclusive world premiere of Tribute to Joseph Pilates The Movie. I wanted to share my thoughts about the film.
To begin, I believe it’s important to define my experience with Pilates to know the perspective from which I viewed the movie. I am a personal trainer with education in the health and wellness field. Regarding Pilates, I am an enthusiast who practices the method at the studio of my partners in Pilatespal.com, Inc. I have discovered the benefits of practicing Pilates in my life and as a result am passionate about sharing the technique with everyone I can.
Sitting in the room, waiting for the show to begin, along with a large number of other Pilates fans, brought much excitement and anticipation. I did not know what to expect from the film but having a strong desire to learn more about Joe; I was eager to see what would be presented.
The lights went dim, and an opening instrumental music began. After the initial production credits and movie title appeared, came a picture of Joe with Chuck Rapoport narrating. I would say that was the only bait needed to get me hooked.
The movie continued with commentary provided by many of the faces of Pilates that we see today from the elders, (first generation students), to their protégés and even Joe’s lawyer himself who was also a client. Some of the most familiar names we know today, associated with the Pilates method spoke such as Mary Bowen, Lolita San Miguel, Rael Isizacowitz, Benjamin Degenhardt, Deborah Lesson, Brooke Siler, Brett Howard, Alan Herdman, Andrea Maida, and so very many more. They spoke one by one on one topic to another conveying various information. Multiple descriptions and stories were told such as the history of Pilates, personal experiences working directly with Joe and Clara, and memories in working with their teachers who were the first generation students of Pilates.
Through the movie and the stories told, I laughed and learned. I gained a deeper understanding of who Joseph Pilates was and how he handled himself and his students. The movie included information on Joseph’s childhood, his family, and his journey from Mönchengladbach, Germany, to the Isle of Man, and a small bit about his arrival to the states. We learned a little bit about Clara and her personality in the process.
Various photos and videos related to the commentary given played in conjunction with the story being relayed at the time. It helped to almost feel as though I was experiencing the moment as they were reliving it by conveying the memory.
Throughout the movie, the individuals were who were so greatly impacted by Joe and his method were telling story after story. While sitting in the room with every minute the film played, with every word spoken by the commentators, I was developing a greater passion and respect for Joe, his work with Pilates and the people who are our teachers today in the method. You could hear in their voices and from the work they have done, the tremendous respect and passion they have for Joe and the Pilates method.
The movie ended with reflection from the commentators on what they would want to ask Joseph if they had the opportunity. With such strong emotion and in very sincere responses, many just wanted to make sure they were doing the right thing, carrying on his legacy in a way he would want, and asking in part for approval. That made me rethink my efforts in longing to share Pilates with the world. It reminded me that I always need to pay the homage and respect to Joe and Body Contrology, AKA Pilates, that he and his method deserves.
If I had one negative thing to say about the movie, it would simply be that I wanted more. I wanted more pictures of Joe and his work. I wanted more videos of his life and the instruction of Pilates. I wanted to hear more stories and shared memories. Heck, I wanted to hear from Joe himself. I wanted to know his thoughts. What would he think about what we are doing with Pilates today? Is it okay? Is it what he would have wanted?
Since the premiere, I have purchased the movie for myself and watched it a second time. I suspect there will be multiple additional viewings to come. For anyone who might be interested, I really can’t recommend this movie enough. I would say that if your desire is to have the Pilates method as part of your life and if you seriously want to give Pilates the respect it deserves, then watching this movie is a must.