Jørgen Leth

production Lars Von Trier


2010 / 85 min / colour
direction Jørgen Leth
camera Dan Holmberg & Adam Philp
sound Hans Møller
editing Camilla Skousen & Morten Højbjerg
cast  Marie Marthe Dorothie Laguerre,
Schilaine Cayo, Rokhaya Niang, Jørgen Leth
music Kristian Leth & Fridolin Nordsø
producer Marianne Christensen
production Zentropa Entertainments5 & Nordisk Film

The elder gentleman, the anthropologist, has an entire life’s collection of erotic moments. He has written many poems where he steps back into the observer’s distance of the erotic. It has been his gift to master a double grasp on the erotic situation: To live it fully and to observe it at the same time.

He studied eroticism framing sexual desire and has caught its circling dramaturgy. He has experimented with watching a burning hot material with the coolness of distance. Now late in his life he feels he doesn’t have the energy to maintain the double grasp, but he continues to see eroticism for his inner eye as an unbroken stream of moods and emotions. He feels a need to finish the work, organize his collection of moments.
director's note

Here we go. I’m in the starting block and impatient about getting started. After much writing over the years, we have to concretize once again. It’s still the same story. The anthropologist searches and gathers material that can lead to a study of the essence and meaning of eroticism. He has identified a number of travel destinations, countries where he wants to look for eroticism. He knows that it exists there. He wants to examine what it is that makes eroticism so important in the lives of human beings. He wants to find it and describe it. He wants to try to survey it coolly. It’s a difficult task. Eroticism is a matter that exists and yet doesn’t exist. It’s like finding God.

It’s also flammable. It must be handled with caution. We want to handle it firmly and perhaps a bit naively. Some questions: Is it eroticism to see a girl get undressed? Is it eroticism to look into a woman’s eyes? Is it eroticism to touch skin fleetingly? Is it eroticism to see a girl walk across a floor (holding a tray)? Is it eroticism to see a girl bicycling in Vientiane? Is it eroticism to exchange looks when you’re standing in line in a bank? Is it eroticism to cross your legs under the table? Is it eroticism when she makes an omelet?

Jørgen Leth