Jørgen Leth

  • Ole John & Jørgen Leth – Se Frem Til En Tryg Tid AKA Look Forward To A Time Of Security (1964)

    Jørgen Leth1961-1970DenmarkExperimentalOle JohnShort Film

    From the cover:
    In this small film, shot in Estepona in the south of Spain, Jørgen Leth and Ole John pursue the principle of asynchronisation and the juxtaposition of disparate elements. The images are footage from a barbershop, a talking man’s face and black film. The sound likewise embraces three elements: a story of how cement is made, which has neither head nor tail; a recording of a shave; and Louis Hjulmand’s score. The tight framing lends the mundane act of a shave a beauty of its own. Meanwhile, in the juxtaposition of near-rambling monologue and music, something else emerges, something more. As a viewer, you try to connect the two, but because no such connection exists, you have to surrender to the pure “experience” of images and sound. The title, a Danish Social-Democratic election slogan, is meaningless in this context. However, if you play around with the juxtaposition of the world “security” and the shots of the man’s soft skin and exposed neck under the barber’s sharply honed razor, the mock meaning rubs up against an altogether different one.Read More »

  • Jørgen Leth – Det gode og det onde AKA Good and Evil (1975)

    1971-1980DenmarkDocumentaryJørgen Leth

    This central work makes a grotesque attempt to organize life according to a series of captions, cataloguing life’s elements. No more, no less. A series of tableaux showcases actors and other well-known Danes as ‘examples’ of the emotions, conditions or phenomena discussed by the neutral, authoritative voiceover: Faces, Bodies, Objects, Necessary Acts, Unnecessary Acts, Good Thougts, Bad Thoughtd and more. Leth opens with a typical statement: ‘Life is interesting. We will study it.’ The director has described the film as a collage or a catalogue of life. Elsewhere, he has called it a surrealist comedy. A bit of everything, it looks like no other film ever made.Read More »

  • Jørgen Leth – Det Erotiske Menneske AKA The Erotic Man (2010)

    2001-2010DenmarkDocumentaryEroticaJørgen Leth

    A collections of scenes based on documents, letters, pictures and poems that depict a man’s erotic nature.Read More »

  • Jørgen Leth – At danse Bournonville AKA Dancing Bournonville (1979)

    1971-1980DenmarkDocumentaryJørgen LethPerformance

    At danse Bournonville is a portrait of the Bournonville tradition at the Royal Danish ballet that has survived for 150 years on the basis of a few notes and the memories of the dancers and is the basis of the special nature and global reputation the company enjoys. The film was created in continuation of, and drawing on, Leth and Holmberg’s experience in making Peter Martins – en danser.Read More »

  • Lars Von Trier & Jørgen Leth – De Fem benspænd AKA The Five Obstructions (2003)

    2001-2010DenmarkDocumentaryJørgen LethLars Von Trier

    The Five Obstructions”, a 100 min. theatre documentary directed by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth. An investigative journey into the phenomenon of “documentary”, based on manifestos written by each director. About a filmmaker not only revisiting, but also recreating (not in a conventional sense) one of his first films, The Perfect Human / Det perfekte menneske (1967), a document on life in Denmark, containing the familiar Leth idiosyncrasiesRead More »

  • Jørgen Leth – Det legende menneske AKA Moments of Play (1986)

    1981-1990DenmarkDocumentaryExperimentalJørgen Leth

    A personal essay on the play of children and grown-ups all over the world. The director has shot the film in different countries and cultures: Bali, Brazil, China, Denmark, UK, Haiti, Spain and the USA.Read More »

  • Jørgen Leth – Step on Silence (1981)

    1981-1990DenmarkDocumentaryJørgen LethPerformance

    Step on Silence was made from raw material from Peter Martins – en danser but unlike the traditional way the Martins film communicates its material in this case we have a film that with its slightly dusty, scratchy appearance makes room for all the shots originally discarded for technical or narrative reasons. It fades to black and up again if visual material is lacking at any given moment, for example, while the continuity of the soundtrack is maintained. The establishing by the cameraman of a new frame or focus is not edited out for the sake of appearances. The painstaking repetitions from the rehearsal room are captured by showing several takes of the same detail from the dance one after the other. Read More »

  • Jørgen Leth – Peter Martins, en danser AKA Peter Martins: A Dancer (1978)

    1971-1980DenmarkDocumentaryJørgen LethPerformance

    Peter Martins – en danser is a classical documentary using illustrative visuals, interviews with the subject, and a linking narrative voice over paints a portrait of the Danish ballet star with the New York City Ballet. “I cannot deal with second best people”, the handsome, self-assured Martins says, describing himself as a monstrously ambitious man who is however able to regard his work as a continual learning process. The film follows Martins as a dancer and choreographer, primarily in the rehearsal room but also on stage.Read More »

  • Jørgen Leth – Katherine Dunham – Dancing with Life [Pilot] (1993)

    1991-2000DocumentaryJørgen LethPerformanceUSA

    Not surprisingly, Jørgen Leth became fascinated by Katherine Dunham (1909-2006), an African-American anthropologist, dancer and choreographer living in Haiti. Dunham was politically engaged and a powerful personality. Unfortunately, at the time it proved impossible to raise the money to produce a film portrait. This pilot has survived on a battered VHS cassette. Footage from a dance seminar in East St. Louis is complemented with interviews with Dunham and other black dancers. The producer Terry Carter is working on having the planned Dunham film accomplished.Read More »

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