Jørgen Leth's travel films — third DVD

A compiled DVD of Jørgen Leth's travel films is now available – the third box set in a series of six containing Leth's entire cinematic oeuvre published by the Danish Film Institute.

Seven travel films

For five decades, Jørgen Leth has been one of the most distinctive artists in Danish cinema. Throughout his production of more than 40 films, Leth's singular passion for exploring film as language and his sensuous delight in images have left their mark.

The box set contains seven films: "66 Scenes from America" (1981), "Moments of Play" (1986), "Notebook from China" (1987), "Haïti. Untitled" (1996), "Dreamers" (2002), "New Scenes from America" (2002) and "Aarhus" (2005). Included in the box set is the bonus material "New York Street Performers" (1982), "Selected Words from a Train" (1989), "Ra-ra" (1994/2008) and "Jørgen Leth about 'Haiti. Untitled'" (1995).

The filmmaker as anthropologist

In his travel films, Leth is again an anthropologist observing the world with detached intensity. "66 Scenes from America", the earliest film in the box set, shows snapshots of archetypical American locations – motels, diners, highways, a lone cactus – iconographic images of a mythological country presented in bright postcard colours, sanitized, like the myth of America. In the latest film, "Aarhus" (2005), Leth travels back to the city of his childhood, whose familiar locales are likewise captured in the director’s trademark tableau style. In between, we find his films from Haïti, the country Leth has lived in for years. Chaos is reflected in the raw, documentary style of these films, a far cry from his American postcards or Chinese notebook. Unknown territory is confronted with fresh eyes and no agenda. In a similar vein, his film about Homo ludens, "playing man", documents people at play around the globe, including the filmmaker's own game with reality.

All three box sets available

The first box set in the Jørgen Leth Collection was released in June and contains Leth's anthropological films, including his Trier collaboration "The Five Obstructions" (2003). The second from November comprises the director's sports films, among these his two legendary cycling films from the seventies, "Stars and Water Carriers" (1974) and "A Sunday in Hell" (1976).

All three box sets are available at the DFI Book & Video Store: DVD Jørgen Leth

For further information:

Pressroom: The Jørgen Leth Collection 1 - 3
FILM magazine: FILM #Special issue/Leth
DFI Danish Films: Jørgen Leth filmography

Danish Film Institute
Lisbeth Richter Larsen, +45 3374 3546, lisbethrl@dfi.dk