by Marielle Nitoslawska
2012, 100 min, Digital
A Possible Movements Production; thanks to Madeleine Molyneaux (Picture Palace Pictures).
Presented with the invaluable assistance of The Cultural Services of the Quebec Government in New York; special thanks to Jean-Pierre Dion.
A towering legend of performance, body art, and avant-garde cinema among many other mediums, Carolee Schneemann has been challenging assumptions of feminism, gender, sexuality, and identity in the art world for five decades. BREAKING THE FRAME is an exquisite, insightful portrait of the artist and a compelling overview of her colorfully complex life and career. Utilizing a rich variety of celluloid and digital video formats, Montreal filmmaker Marielle Nitoslawska spent many years filming at Schneemann’s side. Her style is both intimate and unguarded, as focused on details as it is in presenting a vital and cohesive biography of the always-provocative artist. The resulting portrait captures Schneemann in her own words, images, and reflections while at work, at home, and in the studio.
Showcasing a stunning amount of materials from Schneemann’s personal archives, BREAKING THE FRAME features excerpts from some of her best-known works, including FUSES, MEAT JOY, and KITCH’S LAST MEAL, alongside never-before-seen documentation of performances, astounding handwritten diaries, and many other paintings, installations, sculptures, and ephemera. Nitoslawska has wisely scored the film with the music of renowned composer James Tenney, who was one of Schneemann’s key companions and collaborators. BREAKING THE FRAME is a kinetic and critical meditation on the relation of art to the physical, domestic, and conceptual aspects of daily life, and an exploration of the historic upheaval within Western art in post-war America. It’s a fascinating portrait not only of Schneemann herself, but of her epoch.
Filmmaker Marielle Nitoslawska will be here in person for opening night, along with Carolee Schneemann! Nitoslawska will be here for selected other screenings as well.