Up to the Sky: 4 Films by Barbara Meter

19 February 2016
Close Up Film Centre, London

Barbara Meter is a pivotal figure in Dutch experimental cinema. In the 70's she was the driving force behind the Electric Cinema in Amsterdam, where numerous British and American filmmakers screened their work alongside their Dutch colleagues. Meter has a long filmography including experimental films, documentaries and fiction. She describes her experimental films as "lyrical structuralist". The programme includes four films in which Meter combines documentary aspects with a more formal approach.

2000 | 22 min | B&W | 16mm

An image of early twentieth century Germany rises from a collage of family photographs and landscapes. Meter used the photo albums of her parents, who had to flee Hitler's Germany. The shots alternately exude warmth and detachment.


2004 | 12 min | Colour | 35mm

The constant movement of the wheels, threads, sprockets, feet and hands suggests restlessness, and this is paralleled by the soundtrack. The unknown woman could be Gretchen from Faust, hopelessly in love or Ariadne who gave Theseus  the thread to find his way out of labyrinth or perhaps she is one of the fates, weaving destiny...


2009 | 17 min | Colour | Digital  

A day in the life of an old Ottoman bath, from dawn till dusk, where the light, the mirroring in the water and the visitors figure alongside the protagonist – the bath itself.


Up to the Sky and Much Much More
2015 | 32 min | Colour | DCP

Beautiful, poignant record of a unique man,Barbara Meter tells her father Leo Meter's life story using the impressive series of slides, photos and letters her father sent her after being arrested by the Gestapo and deported to the Eastern Front.