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The Invisible Frame
A Film by Cynthia Beatt
With Tilda Swinton
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In 1988 director Cynthia Beatt and the Tilda Swinton embarked on a filmic journey along the Berlin Wall to create the short film CYCLING THE FRAME (28', color, 1988). Riding her bicycle from the Brandenburg Gate to the suburbs, passying by lakes, fields, and checkpoints, Swinton retraced the concrete and oppressive structure encircling West Berlin, cutting through neighborhoods and buildings, seeming indestructible at the time. One year after filming, the Wall was opened and the process of reunification of Germany began.

More than 20 years later, in 2009, Beatt and Swinton reteamed and retraced their ride, but this time weaving through both sides of the fallen wall. THE INVISIBLE FRAME (60', color, 2009) depicts this poetic passage and reflects on history, memory and freedom.

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Swinton's reactions and inner monologues, enriched with texts by Stevenson, Yeats and Akhmatova, and a soundscape by Simon Fisher Turner, create a deeply engaging and personal vision. Together these films offer a fascinating journey through time and bring a poetic and meditative view on one of the most important events of the 20th century.

Bonus Features include an essay about the project by filmmaker Cynthia Beatt, and a photo gallery.

"An unconventional pair of documentaries... a terrific record [of Berlin] at two periods in time." —DVD Verdict

"Playful, essayistic film, which leaves a deep and lasting impression in one's mind." —Anke Westphal, Berliner Zeitung

"Swinton fans will surely appreciate her unflappable company and literary insights (she recites works by Robert Louis Stevenson, William Butler Yeats, and Anna Akhmatova)..." —Video Librarian

2009 Vienna International Film Festival
2010 Glasgow Film Festival
2010 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

60 minutes / color
Release: 2010
Copyright: 2009
DVD Sale: $24.98

This DVD is sold above for home video use only. If you require a license for institutional use or Public Performance rights, click here.

Subject areas:
Cultural Anthropology, Geography, Germany, History (World), Literature, Nature, Philosophy, Photography, US & Canadian Broadcast Rights, Western Europe

Related Titles:
Cycling the Frame: A quirky 1988 documentary in which Tilda Swinton tours the circumference of the Berlin Wall on a bicycle.

Rabbit la Berlin: 2010 Academy Award Nominee, Best Documentary Short Subject. The history of the Berlin Wall from the rabbits' point-of-view.

The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger: A multi-faceted portrait of artist, philosopher, writer, storyteller and "radical humanist" John Berger.

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Last Updated December 19, 2016
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