7.5/10
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De fem benspænd (2003)

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About a filmmaker not only revisiting, but also recreating (not in a conventional sense) one of his first films, The Perfect Human / Det perfekte menneske (1967)

Directors:

Jørgen Leth (uncredited), Lars von Trier (uncredited)

Writers:

Sophie Destin (poem), Asger Leth (script) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Claus Nissen Claus Nissen ... The Perfect Man - from 'Det perfekte menneske' 1967 (archive footage)
Majken Algren Nielsen Majken Algren Nielsen ... The Perfect Woman, from 'Det perfekte menneske' 1967) (archive footage) (as Maiken Algren)
Daniel Hernandez Rodriguez Daniel Hernandez Rodriguez ... The Perfect Man (segment "Obstruction #1 - The Perfect Human: Cuba")
Jacqueline Arenal Jacqueline Arenal ... The Perfect Woman (segment "Obstruction #1 - The Perfect Human: Cuba")
Vivian Rosa Vivian Rosa
Jørgen Leth ... Voice-over (from "Det perfekte menneske" 1967) / Himself - Director (segments "The Conversations") / Voice-over (segment "The Perfect Human: Cuba," segment "The Perfect Human: Bombay," segment "The Perfect Human: Cartoon") / Himself -The Perfect Man - Voice-over (segment "The Perfect Human: Avedøre, Denmark")
Patrick Bauchau ... The Perfect Man / Voice-over (segment "The Perfect Human: Brunelles Brussels") / Speaker (segment "Obstruction #4 - The Perfect Human: Cartoon")
Alexandra Vandernoot ... The Perfect Woman (segment "The Perfect Human: Brunelles Brussels")
Marie Dejaer Marie Dejaer ... Maid (segment "The Perfect Human: Brunelles Brussels")
Pascal Perez Pascal Perez ... Couple (Man) (segment "The Perfect Human: Brunelles Brussels")
Meschell Perez Meschell Perez ... Couple (Woman) (segment "The Perfect Human: BrunellesBrussels")
Bent Christensen Bent Christensen ... Gangster (from "Det gode og det onde" 1975) (segment "The Perfect Human: Cartoon" (archive footage)
Anders Hove ... Naked Man (from "Notater om kærligheden" 1989) ( fsegment "The Perfect Human: Cartoon" (archive footage)
Charlotte Sieling Charlotte Sieling ... Naked Woman (from "Notater om kærligheden" 1989) ( segment "The Perfect Human: Cartoon" (archive footage)
Jan Nowicki ... Man with Jacket (from "Notater om kærligheden" 1989) ( segment "Obstruction #4 - The Perfect Human (archive footage)
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Storyline

"The Five Obstructions", a 100 min. Dano-Belgian theatre documentary directed by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth. An investigative journey into the phenomenon of "documentary", based on manifestos written by each director. About a filmmaker not only revisiting, but also recreating (not in a conventional sense) one of his first films, The Perfect Human / Det perfekte menneske (1967), a document on life in Denmark, containing the familiar Leth idiosyncrasies. Written by jordan.savel@filmbyen.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Acclaimed director Lars Von Trier challenges his creative mentor to a diabolical game: Deconstruct cinema, reinvent cinema. Push the limits through torturous obstructions.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Danish | English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

21 November 2003 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

As Cinco Obstruções See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,040, 28 May 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$92,221, 4 July 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song played during The Perfect Human: Havana is "Planting the Seed" by David Holmes, which was also used in Ocean's 11 and appears on that movie's soundtrack. See more »

Connections

Remake of Det perfekte menneske (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Von Trier's obstructions on film-making
24 October 2006 | by Camera-ObscuraSee all my reviews

THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS (Lars von Trier - Belgium/Denmark/France/Switserland 2003).

Lars von Trier is not known for trying to please his audiences, but this one is different... Probably, it wasn't his intention while making this film either, but with THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS he has come up with something surprisingly entertaining. In this documentary-like film he challenges one of his favorite filmmakers (and his old film school professor) Jorgen Leth to produce a remake of his 1967 short film "The Perfect Human", each to be directed by Leth according to von Trier's diktat, or his 'Five Obstructions'. The result is an interesting documentary about Leth's efforts and the limitations each artist has to impose on himself to create art or - in this case - film.

The first obstruction is that Jorgen Leth should make a movie where no edit can last more than 12 frames (about half a second) and it must be shot on Cuba. Leth states it's impossible and can't be done, but he tries anyway and succeeds in making a wonderful film and von Trier is delighted with the results. Now he must make a film in the worst place on earth where he is "the perfect human." Leth is put to the test even more and decides to shoot in a red-light district in Bombay where he stages a sumptuous and decadent dinner table on the street, where he dines in smoking, while hordes of impoverished locals are watching him eat.

The quality of the remakes may vary, but the film really comes to live when the two men meet. After the Bombay experiment Von Trier downtalks him, claiming he didn't stick to his obstructions, but Leth remains polite and buoyant during some of the brilliant verbal sparring matches about the endless limitations and possibilities of the medium. Despite Leth's difficulties in coping with the obstructions von Trier imposed on him, his most difficult assignment is when he is given complete freedom to make whatever he wants. It turned out to be the ultimate punishment von Trier could give him.

Camera Obscura --- 8/10


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