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Det perfekte menneske (1967)

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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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)  »

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O Humano Perfeito  »

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Remade as De fem benspænd (2003) See more »

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Simple, Yet Powerful
19 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When watching this film, do not expect it to provide a satisfying ending, nor expect it to spell everything out word for word. The purpose of this film is to get the viewer to think.

Leth's framing of shots is meticulous; each and every angle is designed to draw the viewer to a more appreciative and intimate understanding of the perfect human. His heavily repetitious narration and slightly mismatched word/picture relations creates an atmosphere of awkward feelings; yet, the actors provide a warm, comical relief by doing every day things that we can relate to in sometimes silly manners. The dialogue, although brief, is heavily weighted and contributes to the characteristics of how we view man and woman.

However, "what" the perfect human is supposed to be is left for you to decide. Consider very carefully in this film the relationship between man and woman, the imperfections that contribute to a man's perfection, things man takes for granted, and what man truly longs for. This is an excellent film in which Jorgen Leth designed a question for "you" to interpret in your own feelings and manners: What do you think the perfect human is?


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