Step Across the Border is a 1990 avant-garde documentary film on English guitarist, composer and improviser Fred Frith. It was written and directed by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel and released in Germany and Switzerland. The film was screened in cinemas in North America, South America, Europe and Japan and on television in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France. It was also released on VHS by RecRec Music (Switzerland) in 1990, and was later released on DVD by Winter & Winter (Germany) in 2003.
Shot in black and white, the 35mm documentary was filmed between 1988 and 1990 in Japan, Italy, France, Germany, England, the United States and Switzerland, and shows Frith rehearsing, performing, giving interviews and relaxing. Other musicians featured include René Lussier, Iva Bittová, Tom Cora, Tim Hodgkinson, Bob Ostertag and John Zorn.
The film won “Best Documentary” at the European Film Awards in 1990. A companion “soundtrack” album, Step Across the Border was also released by RecRec Music in 1990. —wikipedia
Nicolas Humbert was born in 1958. His early writings, pictures and Super-8 films were influenced mostly by French Surrealism. He co-founded the Groupe Macsom. During 1980-82 Humbert focused on paintings. In 1982-87 he studied at School for Film in Munich. Since then he has worked as a freelance writer and film director. He made his first feature film Nebel Jagen in 1985. In 1987 Humbert founded the film production Cine Nomad together with musician, film director and traveller Werner Penzel. Their first major project together, the music film Step across the Border, which had its premiere in 1990, is about the English musician and composer Fred Frith. With this film, the two artists suddenly attracted the attention of international critics and won awards at numerous festivals. In 2000, critics of the Cahiers du Cinema in Paris voted Step across the Border one of the 100 most important films in cinema history. The film is not just a portrait; it is a hymn to the creative process and to… read more
Werner Penzel was born in 1950 and grew up in the countryside in the South of Germany. In the 1960s, he was engaged primarily with music and poetry, in the early 1970s, his interest became fully focused on filmmaking. He studied at the Munich Film School, he cooperated with the Brazilian Theatre Company Oficina and travelled in South America, North Africa, India and Japan. After his succesfful films Vagabunden Karawane (1980), Adios Al Odio (1986) and others, he and author, film director and fellow traveler Nicolas Humbert founded the production company CineNomad in 1987. Their first major project was the music film Step Across the Border about English composer Fred Frith. Rather than a traditional portrait, the film represents a hymn on the process of creativity and the spirit of inventiveness. Premiered in 1990, the film earned international attention and received awards at numerous film festivals. In 2000, critics from the Cahier du Cinéma magazine ranked it among hundred most significant… read more