Breaking the Frame. Marielle Nitoslawska, Canada, 2012, 100min, with Carolee Schneeman.
I first saw Schneemann’s legendary film Fuses by chance in my early twenties. I understood the depth of her work decades later, while researching my 2002 documentary Bad Girl, a survey film on women’s representations of sexuality. I began dreaming-up a sequel of sorts, with a focus on Schneemann. It was meant to be. Soon after, as she was renting a studio space in Montreal, we met, got along immediately, and discussed a possible film. I then drove down to NY to further explore the idea. On arriving in Springtown, I knew right away that I would be making this film. Her astounding house, garden, and pond--all were innately cinematographic in the setting sun and rising magic hour. I began digging into Schneemann’s well of archives to realize that it perhaps has no bottom. And so Breaking the Frame began. I’ve always felt that the greatest asset of independent filmmaking is time. Time to get to know and feel the subject. Time to digest layers of meaning. Time to compose the film’s form to reflect the absorbed entirety. This process often last years; a way of working that isn’t practical but yields irreplaceable authenticity. You observe and collect and wonder how to evoke the “past” in the flow of cinema’s ever-virtual “present”. You displace space and fragment time. You listen. You follow the mind’s eye.
–Marielle Nitoslawska, Montreal, August 2012