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Denmark, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Northern Lights 04 New Scandinavian Cinema)

Director: Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier

The Five Obstructions (De Fem Benspænd) Denmark

'Between Lars von Trier and me I can say there is a sympathy and professional respect, but also both of us have an appreciation of play and experiment and teasing.' -Jørgen Leth

'There are just a few areas on which I think I'm an expert. One of them is Jørgen Leth.' -Lars von Trier

Danish enfant terrible Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark) enters the world of documentary filmmaking, challenging the conventions and boundaries of film production. In 1967, Jørgen Leth made a 13-minute film called The Perfect Human, a document on human behaviour. In 2000, von Trier, who claims to have seen the film over 20 times in a year, challenged Leth to remake it five times. The catch being that von Trier would put forward obstructions, a manifesto of sorts, for Leth to observe. The game is on, one full of traps and vicious twists that never cease to intrigue.

'a fascinating meditation on filmmaking and a remarkable intellectual exercise, The Five Obstructions illustrates the way in which innovation flourishes in the wake of adversity. It also offers conclusive proof of von Trier's outrageous genius.' -BBC Films

D/S Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier P Carsten Holst WS Trust Film Sales L Danish, English, French, Spanish w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2003/90mins

Jørgen Leth was born in Aarhus, Denmark. Films include: 66 Scenes from America (1982), New Scenes from America (2002).

Lars von Trier was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1956. Films include: Zentropa (MIFF 1992), Breaking the Waves (1996), Dogville (2003).

See also...

The Perfect Human

That pinnacle of evolutionary achieve­ment, embodiment of the dreams and desires of urban existence, twentieth-century Nordic man, is on floodlit display. He is subjected to a thorough zoological ... More »


... ... Zentropa, the most dazzling film seen at Cannes for years, is a trip along the twin scenic routes of myth and history. It's about a journey of illusion that provides lightning glimpses, from ... More »


The Kingdom is more of an epic than a small screen serial-a truly macabre work of diabolical diversity with an unpredictable narra­tive, harbouring a tender ghost story at the core of its haunted ... More »


"A mesmerizing, visually gorgeous and often-moving alloy of family drama." - Telegraph ... From Danish agitator Lars von Trier (Antichrist, MIFF 2009) comes a compelling family drama, set against the ... More »


Tintin and I (Tintin et moi) DenmarkOver several days in October 1971, the reclusive Hergé, creator of the Tintin comics, granted a rare and extremely candid interview to a young journalist. That ... More »


The Green Butchers (De Gronne Slagtere) Denmark Stay away from the 'Chicky Wickies'! Tired of slaving away under Holger, their overbearing, abusive boss, 'sweaty' Svend and Bjarne open their own ... More »

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