enda

Jørgen Leth

(1937 – )

Director, journalist, author, cycling commentator. Born 14/6 1937.

Growing up in Aarhus, Leth spent a lot of time at the local velodrome, where his uncle was manager, and he became fascinated by cycling. In his youth, he was an active cyclist and table-tennis player. Leth studied literature at Aarhus University and ethnography at Copenhagen University.

In 1959, Leth found work as a journalist and critic (jazz and film), and he was also a writer of sports and travel features. He debuted as a poet in 1962 and has since published a number of essays, poetry collections and non-fiction books.

Leth made his first film in 1963, 'Stop for Bud', a documentary portrait of jazz pianist Bud Powell, and he became a central figure on the experimental documentary film scene in the 1960s.

Leth's documentaries are sensuous, personal and distinguished by the director's singular timing and rhythm. As a Danish film critic notes: "Curiosity and a sense of beauty are forces driving Leth's films. With admirable, tenacious consistency he has cultivated his fascination with surfaces."

Leth tends to highlight the mythological and epic aspects of his subjects. This is most apparent in his sports films, including 'Stars and the Water Carriers' (1974) and 'A Sunday in Hell' (1977), about two cycling races, the Giro d'Italia and the Paris-Roubaix spring classic, respectively. For a number of years, Leth also commentated the Tour de France for the Danish broadcaster TV 2.

Films like 'Life in Denmark' (1972) and '66 Scenes from America' (1982) meticulously catalogue people and places, while films such as 'Dancing Bournonville' (1979), 'I Am Alive' (1999) and 'I Am Talking to You' (2013) are lyrical artist's portraits. In 2003, Leth co-directed 'The Five Obstructions' with Lars von Trier. The film presents five remakes of Leth's 1968 classic, 'The Perfect Human'. Apart from documentaries, Leth has made a few fiction films, notably 'Haïti Express' (1983).

Leth himself is portrayed in Tómas Gislason's documentary 'Heart and Soul' (1994) and in Amir Labaki's '27 Scenes about Jørgen Leth' (2009). In 2005, Leth published the first volume of his memoirs, 'The Imperfect Human – Scenes from My Life', spurring heated debate in the Danish media. Leth has since published several more volumes of his memoirs.
Filmography Awards Festivals
Title Year Function Category
I Walk 2019 Direction, Appearance, Cinematographer DK/Documentary
Lyrikporten – 28 danske digtere 2016 Direction DK/Documentary
Født til filmen 2015 Appearance DK/Documentary
Den hvide mand 2014 Voiceover DK/Experimental
Sort sne 2014 Voiceover DK/Experimental
Der er ikke andet end det der er 2014 Voiceover DK/Experimental
Jeg taler til jer 2013 Direction
I Am Talking To You 2013 Direction, Appearance, Screenplay DK/Documentary
Laamb 2013 Narrator DK/Documentary
The Cavalry 2013 Appearance TV series
The Erotic Human 2010 Direction, Narrator, Screenplay, Cinematographer DK/Feature
Han skal dog dø 2010 Appearance DK/Experimental
Klown 2010 Sig selv DK/Feature
ABCinema 2009 Appearance DK/Documentary
Det meste af tiden 2009 Direction, Appearance, Poems DK/Short fiction
Weightless - a recording session with Jakob Bro 2009 Appearance DK/Documentary
Fiction 2008 Appearance DK/Documentary
The yellow jersey 2008 Appearance DK/Documentary
Leth om Laudrup 2008 Appearance DK/Documentary
Tropical Mix 2007 Direction DK/Experimental
Monument 2007 Direction DK/Experimental
The Jørgen Leth Collection 2007 Direction Anthology
Sanselighedens pris 2007 Appearance DK/Documentary
Tavi - ånden der steg op fra havet 2006 Appearance DK/Documentary
Historien bag kameraet 2006 Appearance TV documentary
Aarhus 2005 Direction, Appearance, Script DK/Documentary
Ghosts of Cité Soleil 2005 Executive producer DK/Documentary
The five obstructions 2003 Direction, Script, Himself - Director DK/Documentary
Drømmere 2002 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Nye scener fra Amerika 2002 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Monas verden 2001 Rygestemme DK/Feature
Vejen tilbage 2001 Consultant DK/Documentary
Jeg er levende - Søren Ulrik Thomsen, digter 1999 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Haiti. Uden titel 1996 Direction, Script, Cinematography DK/Documentary
Ra-ra 1994 Direction DK/Documentary
Heart and Soul 1994 Appearance DK/Documentary
Michael Laudrup: A Football Player 1993 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Traberg 1992 Direction, Script DK/Feature
Notes on Love 1989 Direction, Script, Production, Appearance DK/Experimental
Dansk litteratur 1989 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Udvalgte ord fra tog 1989 Appearance DK/Documentary
Notater fra Kina 1987 Direction, Voiceover, Script DK/Documentary
Danish Music at the Louisiana 1987 Direction DK/Documentary
Moments of Play 1986 Direction, Voiceover, Script DK/Documentary
Haiti Express 1983 Direction, Script, Dialogue DK/Feature
Pelota 1983 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
66 scener fra Amerika 1982 Direction, Appearance DK/Documentary
Gadeartister i New York 1982 Direction DK/Documentary
Step on Silence 1981 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Peter Martins: A dancer 1979 Direction, Voiceover DK/Documentary
At danse Bournonville 1979 Direction, Voiceover DK/Documentary
Kalule 1979 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Sanct Hansaften-spil 1979 Direction TV film
En forårsdag i helvede 1977 Direction, Script, Executive producer DK/Documentary
Good and evil 1975 Direction, Script, Production, Production design, Narrator DK/Experimental
Klaus Rifbjerg 1975 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Den umulige time 1975 Direction, Voiceover, Script, Production DK/Documentary
Stjernerne og vandbærerne 1974 Direction, Voiceover, Script DK/Documentary
Eddy Merckx in the Vicinity of a Cup of Coffee 1973 Direction, Appearance, Cinematography DK/Experimental
Life in Denmark 1972 Direction, Appearance, Script, Production DK/Documentary
Chinese Ping Pong 1972 Direction, Editing DK/Documentary
The Search 1971 Direction, Appearance, Story DK/Experimental
Without relations 1970 Direction, Script DK/Experimental
Teatret i de grønne bjerge 1970 Direction, Production, Cinematography DK/Experimental
Motion Picture 1970 Direction, Script, Production, Editing DK/Experimental
Dyrehaven, den romantiske skov 1970 Direction, Script DK/Documentary
Dyrehavefilmen 1969 Direction, Cinematography DK/Experimental
Krag-filmen 1969 Direction, Cinematography DK/Experimental
Rødovrefilmen 1969 Direction DK/Experimental
The Perfect Human 1968 Direction, Narrator, Script DK/Experimental
Ofelias blomster 1968 Direction, Script DK/Experimental
Nær himlen, nær jorden 1968 Direction, Editing, Sound, Voiceover DK/Documentary
Se frem til en tryg tid 1965 Direction, Script, Editing DK/Experimental
Stop for Bud 1963 Direction, Script, Production, Editing DK/Documentary
A Conversation with Jørgen Leth Appearance Archival film

Awards and nominations

Award Release year Festival Film
Silver Dragon 1972 Krakow Film Festival 1972 Livet i Danmark
Best Documentary Short Film 1996 Chicago International Film Festival 1996 Haiti. Uden titel
Grand Prix 2004 Odense Internationale Film Festival 2004 De fem benspænd
FIPRESCI Jury Prize 2004 Zagreb Motovun Film Festival 2004 De fem benspænd
Det Danske Filminstitut registrerer international festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, dog primært de titler, som Filminstituttet varetager i sin festivaldistribution, og primært i forbindelse med de festivaler, som Filminstituttet har prioriteret at samarbejde med. Registreringen af festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, der ikke er i festivaldistribution, foretages kun for "launch"-festivaler ifølge Filminstituttets prioriterede festivalliste. Se listen over prioriterede festivaler.

Festivals

Festival Festival date Film
Sao Paulo It's All True Int. Documentary FF 2015-04-09 De fem benspænd
Dokufest Prizren 2011-07-23 De fem benspænd
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2011-07-01 Det erotiske menneske
CPH:DOX 2011-06-17 Det erotiske menneske
Sao Paulo It's All True Int. Documentary FF 2011-03-31 Det erotiske menneske
ZagrebDox 2011-03-06 Det erotiske menneske
Göteborg International Film Festival 2011-01-28 Det erotiske menneske
Les Arcs European Film Festival 2010-12-11 Det perfekte menneske
Thessaloniki International Film Festival 2010-12-03 Det erotiske menneske
Amsterdam, IDFA 2010-11-18 Det erotiske menneske
Lithuania Scanorama Film Forum 2010-11-11 Det erotiske menneske
CPH:DOX 2010-11-04 Det erotiske menneske
Bergen International Film festival 2010-10-20 Det erotiske menneske
Lisbon Int. Documentary Film Festival 2010-10-14 Nye scener fra Amerika
Toronto International Film Festival 2010-09-09 Det erotiske menneske
Lithuania Scanorama Film Forum 2008-11-13 De fem benspænd
Sevilla Festival de Cine 2008-11-07 Det perfekte menneske
Tehran, Cinéma Vérité, Documentary Film Festival 2008-10-15 Nye scener fra Amerika
Warszawa, Against Gravity 2008-05-09 Nye scener fra Amerika
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2007-11-07 Livet i Danmark
Lisbon Int. Documentary Film Festival 2007-10-18 De fem benspænd
Taipei Film Festival 2007-06-22 Det perfekte menneske
Helsinki Doc Point Documentary Film Festival 2007-01-24 Nye scener fra Amerika
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2006-10-30 Aarhus
München Documentary Festival 2006-05-05 Haiti. Uden titel
Sao Paulo It's All True Int. Documentary FF 2006-03-23 Aarhus
Prague, One World Human Rights Film Festival 2006-03-02 De fem benspænd
Göteborg International Film Festival 2006-01-27 Aarhus
Odense Internationale Film Festival 2005-08-11 Aarhus
Jeonju International Film Festival 2005-04-28 De fem benspænd
Tel Aviv Docaviv Int. Documentary Film Festival 2005-04-07 Nye scener fra Amerika
Amsterdam, IDFA 2005-04-03 66 scener fra Amerika
Sao Paulo It's All True Int. Documentary FF 2005-03-29 De fem benspænd
ZagrebDox 2005-02-22 De fem benspænd
Reykjavik Film Festival 2004-11-17 De fem benspænd
Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival 2004-10-26 Nye scener fra Amerika
Lisbon Int. Documentary Film Festival 2004-10-24 De fem benspænd
Helsinki Film Festival - Love & Anarchy 2004-09-16 De fem benspænd
Sarajevo Film Festival 2004-08-20 De fem benspænd
Odense Internationale Film Festival 2004-08-09 De fem benspænd
Zagreb Motovun Film Festival 2004-07-26 De fem benspænd
Melbourne Film Festival 2004-07-21 De fem benspænd
Wellington - New Zealand Film Festival 2004-07-16 De fem benspænd
Cape Town, Encounters South African Int. Documentary Film Festival 2004-07-16 De fem benspænd
Jerusalem Int. Film Festival 2004-07-08 De fem benspænd
Marseille Festival International du Documentaire 2004-06-26 En forårsdag i helvede
Sydney Film Festival 2004-06-11 De fem benspænd
München Documentary Festival 2004-05-07 De fem benspænd
Vilnius International Film Festival 2004-04-30 De fem benspænd
Buenos Aires Festival de Cine Independiente 2004-04-14 De fem benspænd
Hong Kong International Film Festival 2004-04-06 De fem benspænd
Buenos Aires, Mar Del Plata Int. FF 2004-03-11 De fem benspænd
Göteborg International Film Festival 2004-01-23 De fem benspænd
Sundance Film Festival 2004-01-15 De fem benspænd
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2003-11-22 De fem benspænd
Amsterdam, IDFA 2003-11-20 De fem benspænd
Oslo International Film Festival 2003-11-20 De fem benspænd
Mannheim-Heidelberg, Int. Film Festival 2003-11-20 De fem benspænd
CPH:DOX 2003-11-07 De fem benspænd
Lübeck, Nordische Filmtage 2003-10-30 Nye scener fra Amerika
Valladolid International Film Festival 2003-10-24 De fem benspænd
Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival 2003-10-23 Nye scener fra Amerika
Bergen International Film festival 2003-10-16 Nye scener fra Amerika
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2003-10-13 Nye scener fra Amerika
Rio de Janeiro Film Festival 2003-09-25 De fem benspænd
Malmö Nordisk Panorama 2003-09-23 De fem benspænd
Toronto International Film Festival 2003-09-04 De fem benspænd
Odense Internationale Film Festival 2003-08-11 Nye scener fra Amerika
Locarno, Festival internazionale del film 2003-08-06 Livet i Danmark
SilverDocs AFI Documentary Festival 2003-06-18 Nye scener fra Amerika
New York Tribeca Film Festival 2003-05-03 Nye scener fra Amerika
Jeonju International Film Festival 2003-04-25 Nye scener fra Amerika
Moscow - Royal Danish Embassy 2003-04-05 Det gode og det onde
Paris, Cinéma du Réel 2003-03-07 Nye scener fra Amerika
Göteborg International Film Festival 2003-01-24 Nye scener fra Amerika
Amsterdam, IDFA 2002-11-21 Nye scener fra Amerika
Oulu Nordisk Panorama 2002-09-24 Nye scener fra Amerika
Odense Internationale Film Festival 2002-08-12 Drømmere
Sao Paulo It's All True Int. Documentary FF 2002-04-11 Drømmere
Zagreb Motovun Film Festival 2001-07-31 Jeg er levende - Søren Ulrik Thomsen, digter
Ghent Flanders Int. Film Festival 2000-10-10 66 scener fra Amerika
Göteborg International Film Festival 2000-01-28 Jeg er levende - Søren Ulrik Thomsen, digter
Amsterdam, IDFA 1999-11-24 Jeg er levende - Søren Ulrik Thomsen, digter
Odense Internationale Film Festival 1999-08-16 Jeg er levende - Søren Ulrik Thomsen, digter
Amsterdam, IDFA 1996-11-28 En forårsdag i helvede
Rio de Janeiro Film Festival 1985-11-21 En forårsdag i helvede
Det Danske Filminstitut registrerer international festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, dog primært de titler, som Filminstituttet varetager i sin festivaldistribution, og primært i forbindelse med de festivaler, som Filminstituttet har prioriteret at samarbejde med. Registreringen af festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, der ikke er i festivaldistribution, foretages kun for "launch"-festivaler ifølge Filminstituttets prioriterede festivalliste. Se listen over prioriterede festivaler.