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The Perfect Human (1967)

Det perfekte menneske (original title)
An elegant and humorous film-in the guise of a serious anthropological treatise-spotlights "The Perfect Human," a model of the modern Dane created by our wishful thinking.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Majken Algren Nielsen ...
The Perfect Woman (as Maiken Algren)
Claus Nissen ...
The Perfect Man
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Storyline

Like Life in Denmark, Good and Evil, and Notes on Love, sensible anthropological study is apparently on the programme, and in Leth's award-winning breakthrough it assumes an elegant, highly amusing form. Spanning a period of 22 years these films revolve skittishly around human nature, and apart from the more documentary Life in Denmark, each has actor Claus Nissen as Leth's artful alter ego. Nissen and Maiken Algren are in an empty white room with only the essential props for each scene. A bed, bedding, a table, chairs. "We are going to see the perfect human being in action", we hear, and Leth's voice puts descriptive or puzzled words to the little actions the film exhibits: the man touches his face investigatively, fills a pipe, cuts his nails, and gets undressed, but he does peculiar things, too: he jumps as if he is weightless, snaps his fingers in strange ways, and dances with exaggerated movements and no music. "Today, too, I had an experience that I hope I shall understand in a ... Written by Anonymous

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1967 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

As Cinco Obstruções  »

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Edited into The Five Obstructions (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A very puzzling film
14 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

At first I did not know what to make of this film. I was disappointed, but it felt like I had probably missed something, like there must be some underlying message which I was most likely not interpreting correctly. I spent days trying to figure it out, and then I realized it: both critics who say this film is boring and a waste of time, and those who say it is an entertaining depiction of our human nature have missed the point.

The perfect human, as shown in it's true form in this "documentary", has no responsibilities, no space, no time and no subjectivity at all; the perfect human only knows his own needs (sleeping, eating, making love), he is constantly idle, alienated and empty. The perfect human is a profoundly uninteresting creature. From this perspective, the apparent pointlessness of the film is precisely the point which the film is trying to make: that perfection is dull, silly and undesirable. It portrays our human nature by reaching inside us as viewers (and not by leading us inside the characters of the film) and making us feel estranged from our own dynamic reality - the imperfect reality that actually makes us perfectly humans.


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