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Good and Evil

DIR: Jørgen Leth
1975 / Denmark / 81 min

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Recommend this film

An extension of The Perfect Human, Good and Evil is a longer, more expansive pseudo-documentary portrayal of life, no less. Using capacious titles or chapter headings that Leth's narrator's voice dwells upon and impresses upon us as he toys with the cliché "Faces", "Bodies", "Things", "Necessary actions", "Unnecessary actions", Good thoughts", "Bad thoughts", "Pleasant feelings", "Unpleasant feelings", and "Words" - the film consist of aesthetically titillating and contentually almost schematic scenes shot in the void of the film studio: faces, bodies and things. A man with a shoe. Another man with a hardboiled egg which he talks about and eats. A woman gives her husband a shirt. A couple who argue. A desperate woman. And so forth. There is no psychological shading of the characters, merely a series of sketches or examples that are as if plucked out of different everyday contexts. The thread leading back to Life in Denmark is thus also clear. The dialogue is sparse and phrases or fragments of phrases recur, spoken by different actors and in different roles, which may be viewed as an accentuation of the ordinariness of these little utterances and as an awareness of language as such. Besides the professional cast work the film uses several photographic models, the circus artiste Diana Benneweis, and the cyclist ole Ritter, who all pose in front of the camera in small tableaux. In addition to the craziness of the project the film also contains a series of zany comic acts with Claus Nissen to carry them. He bursts into song while washing his hands, dances in an empty room, plays rhythmic games with the statement "Bossa nova rhythms I have nothing against" and repeats his mysterious closing line from The Perfect Human: "Today, too, I had an experience ..."

About

Director Jørgen Leth
Screenplay
Dir. of Photography Henning Camre
Editing Franz Ernst
Music Gunner Møller Pedersen, Sanne Salomonsen
Sound Ole Henning Hansen
Duration 81 min
Year 1975
Country Denmark
Colour Black & White
Tags poetic, staged
Production
Distribution
Festivals
Awards


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