"Matisse felt that the human side of painting is the result of a mysterious, expressive quality which, if the painter is possessed of a good sensibility, comes through in the final painting. Thus it need not be overly stated in the subject matter ... He was referring to paintings, but I apply it to cinema. It is about perception. I like films that have a deceptive lightness, with underlying layers of consciousness, images, sound. Film is like music. In a sense, I compose my films as musical scores."
Photo: Cynthia Beatt at the shooting of "The invisible Frame"
Cynthia Beatt describes her first feature BESCHREIBUNG EINER INSEL herself as an “ethnographic-feature”, which sounds like a contradiction, but in her case is not and applies to all of her films. Her films are very precise observations of foreign places that take a clear point of view, usually embodied by an actress or even by herself (BÖSE ZU SEIN). The films are based on long term research and observations, nothing is coincidental and yet everything is real. They look documentary but they are not and the other way round, it doesn't matter, they are Cynthia Beatt - films. Beautiful, poetic, critical and questioning.
There are far too few films by Cynthia Beatt, which is also due to the fact, that nowadays film funding is bound to a bureaucratic process that forces you to put everything on paper and into words. Cynthia’s way of working clashes with this system, her films are pure cinema, they can only be described in images and sounds. You can see some of her films with us, more are to follow, THE INVISIBLE FRAME is a production of Filmgalerie 451.
Cynthia Beatt grew up in Jamaica and the Fiji Islands. She studied at Bath Academy of Art and then moved into film. After working with 24 Frames in London, she travelled for a year through the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and then moved to Berlin. In the 1970s and 80s she worked with the Arsenal and the International Forum of New Cinema, programmed major retrospectives of Roberto Rossellini, Fritz Lang, Jean Rouch, Powell and Pressburger, Max Opühls. She began directing films in 1979.
HEART OF LIGHT, 2022 (in production)
A HOUSE IN BERLIN, 2014, 96 min
THE INVISIBLE FRAME, 2009, 60 min
THE PARTY – NATURE MORTE, 1991, 89 min
CYCLING THE FRAME, 1988, 27 min
DAKUI GAU TRIO / NAMOSI, 1986, 20 min
BÖSE ZU SEIN IST AUCH EIN BEWEIS VON GEFÜHL ("Fury is a Feeling Too"), 1983, 25 min
BESCHREIBUNG EINER INSEL (together with Rudolph Thome), 1979, 200 min