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The Invisible Frame (2009) More at IMDbPro »

The Invisible Frame -- A film by Cynthia Beatt / With Tilda Swinton / An Icarus Films Release
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Cynthia Beatt (writer)
View company contact information for The Invisible Frame on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 November 2009 (Germany) See more »
User Reviews:
Cynthia Beatts mesmerising film invites us to look inside ourselves for a truth which can guide us through the existential void. See more (1 total) »



Directed by
Cynthia Beatt 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Cynthia Beatt  writer

Produced by
Inge Classen .... producer
Frieder Schlaich .... producer
Original Music by
Simon Fisher-Turner 
Cinematography by
Ute Freund 
Film Editing by
Dörte Völz-Mammarella 
Production Management
Sabine Steyer .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Johannes Blume .... assistant director
Sound Department
Simon Fisher-Turner .... sound designer
Jochen Jezussek .... sound
Frank Kruse .... sound mixer
Matthias Lempert .... sound re-recording mixer
Visual Effects by
Stefan Carl-McGrath .... digital lab supervisor
Claudia Gittel .... digital colorist
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Brecko .... still photographer
Sandro Kopp .... key grip
Sandro Kopp .... still photographer
Matthias Maaß .... grip
Markus Otto .... assistant camera
Mathieu Rech .... grip
Nico Storch .... grip
Editorial Department
Kolja Kunt .... assistant editor
Location Management
Roman Savary .... location manager

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
60 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Follows Cycling the Frame (1988) (TV)See more »


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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Cynthia Beatts mesmerising film invites us to look inside ourselves for a truth which can guide us through the existential void., 5 March 2010
Author: peter-schramm from United Kingdom

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Invisible Frame unfolds as a cycle journey along the line of the former Berlin Wall but this film is artful and philosophical rather than nostalgic. It's a stream of images meandering through that "end of the day" atmosphere – dreamy, contemplative, a touch wistful, occasionally soliloquised into prose, emotion turned into words - at other times it swirls along with ethereal sounds which echo around inside you, sounds turned into emotion. Yet half submerged within its flowing imagery resides a poignant philosophical question.

Berlin with its absurd wall, its Nazi past, its ideological split into east and west is an example par excellence of that existential stumbling block upon which some of the best existential thinkers have founded:- what can we do to make life endurable if the universe really has neither god, purpose, values or meaning ? Heidegger chose Nazi-ism and Sartre Marxism but both they and Berlin now lie testament to the failure of those answers. However this film's interplay of art and philosophy really does produce some quite interesting propositions. The hallmark of a good film is its capacity to trigger an encounter with your own soul and the Invisible Frame does just that.

The street musician at the beginning is a "Pied Piper" motif, heralding the passage from our everyday standpoint to an inner or psychic standpoint i.e the underworld. The enigmatic and beguiling cyclist, Tilda Swinton (Oscarwinner 2008),leads us through a suitably chthonic and labyrinthine landscape, transforming every scene into a tantalising question. She meditates on life, reads a book called "Alone in Berlin" and never asks for directions underlining that this is an inner journey from collective opinions towards individual insight. At the centre of this filmic labyrinth she finds a birds nest which is a Gnostic\Kabala symbol of our transpersonal centre or "higher self" which will come on occasion to the assistance of solitary individuals. This experience of the numinous brings about a synthesis of the conscious and conscious psyche and with it an awareness that we have a reason to exist. The red star monument reinforces this symbolism as the minotaur in Greek legend was called Asterion which means "star" and coins excavated at Knossos on Crete where the legend is set show a star at the centre of the labyrinth. Now the person with whom she has most contact, is a child with a bow and arrow. This lost son of Hamelin (like all the children you see)represents our curiosity, joy, openness and spontaneity which can be used to overcome self-deception, conventionality and fear. It rubs off on the cyclist because later she etches an arrow, rune-like, into the dirt. The arrow is a very old symbol whose meaning has survived through to our day in its use to depict North on maps – it points to the North star which never sets but remains above the horizon for travellers to orientate themselves – it is our guiding star. Like the picture of Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, which she stops by, the cyclist has, through her journey, squared the circle and found a new psychological orientation. Her closing words "open sesame" bring her back out of the underworld and into our everyday world where she began, just like the circuit of the wall has brought her back to her starting point.

You may frown at my interpretation and the film's texts do literally speak for themselves but for me the film scores in its ability to coax you to turn inward and retrieve from the depths of your own being a reply to the absurdity of existence.

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