Film Archive

Jahr

Countries (Film Archive)

Homage Jon Bang Carlsen
Addicted to Solitude Jon Bang Carlsen

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. And so are films.” This statement, which opens “Addicted to Solitude”, indicates its direction: there is none.

Addicted to Solitude

Documentary Film
Denmark
1999
60 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jon Bang Carlsen
Jon Bang Carlsen
Frédéric Chopin, Johann Strauss
Jon Bang Carlsen
Haley Morris-Hohls
Jon Bang Carlsen
“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. And so are films.” This statement, which opens “Addicted to Solitude”, indicates its direction: there is none. The plan was to make a film about South Africa a few years after the end of Apartheid. But somewhere along the way the director lost the original story. What’s left is the research material, which Bang Carlsen turned into a travel diary and undoubtedly one of his most personal films. On the backdrop of the tragic story of two women belonging to the white community somewhere in remote rural South Africa, the ghosts of the past and the fears of the future come alive. But the traveller’s privilege is that he need not pretend to belong to any side. And this freedom enables Bang Carlsen to take a look at the ongoing transition that lays bare the most deep-seated emotional insecurity. White rule was based on voluntary loneliness caused by the exclusion of the black population. They got rid of the rule. The loneliness is still there.
Matthias Heeder

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Jon Bang Carlsen
Before the Guests Arrive Jon Bang Carlsen

The last preparations for the season at a small hotel on the North Sea coast. Managed by an elderly lady and maintained by her only employee, who’s not quite so young either, this house is stuck in some early 1960s style.

Before the Guests Arrive

Documentary Film
Denmark
1986
15 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jon Bang Carlsen, Mads Egmont Christensen
Jon Bang Carlsen
Tom Elling
Grete Møldrup
Jon Bang Carlsen
Niels Arild
The last preparations for the season at a small hotel on the North Sea coast. Managed by an elderly lady and maintained by her only employee, who’s not quite so young either, this house is stuck in some early 1960s style. Maybe it was this marginality in a tourist region that attracted Bang Carlsen to the project. Nothing here is situational, coincidental or unplanned. Every shot was carefully constructed, the two women’s movements orchestrated, the dialogues and texts developed so convincingly that a universal truth about the transience of all things emerges behind the simple image of an ageing family hotel. The director’s wistful look at a somewhat dusty gem, conserved in the film to be passed on to posterity like a time capsule.
Matthias Heeder

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Jon Bang Carlsen
Hotel of the Stars Jon Bang Carlsen

Once the most fashionable spot in the heart of Hollywood, in 1980 the Montecito Hotel on Franklin Avenue is only a shadow of its former heyday. The stars have moved on to fancier palaces.

Hotel of the Stars

Documentary Film
Denmark
1982
45 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jon Bang Carlsen
Tennyson Stephens
Alexander Gruszynski
Anders Refn
Jon Bang Carlsen
Niels Bokkenheuser
Once the most fashionable spot in the heart of Hollywood, in 1980 the Montecito Hotel on Franklin Avenue is only a shadow of its former heyday. The stars have moved on to fancier palaces. The Montecito is left with the small fry of the industry: bit players, extras, musicians. And a busted elevator. For Bang Carlsen, who sees documentary film as an art form (and not an objective view of the world), it’s natural to have the residents of the hotel play themselves. Dan, an overweight man in his early 40s, assumes the part of the bit player he really is and now plays for Bang Carlsen. Something astonishing happens in the process. Suddenly the mask of the play doesn’t fit Dan any more, slips and reveals a different truth about him and the world he moves in. All protagonists/actors in this film have their entrance, their scene, their moment. All of which Bang Carlsen uses to construct an incredibly authentic story about the America of the losers.
Matthias Heeder

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Jon Bang Carlsen
How to Invent Reality Jon Bang Carlsen

At one point in this essay about documentary staging someone says: “You move into a film like you move into a house.” Whether you feel comfortable there, however, depends on many small, sometimes unnoticeable things.

How to Invent Reality

Documentary Film
Denmark
1996
30 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jon Bang Carlsen
Jon Bang Carlsen
Anúna
Donal Gilligan, Jon Bang Carlsen
Morten Giese
Jon Bang Carlsen
Morten Holm
A demonstration of Jon Bang Carlsen’s method using the example of his film about Irish bachelors, “It’s Now or Never”. At one point in this essay about documentary staging someone says: “You move into a film like you move into a house.” Whether you feel comfortable there, however, depends on many small, sometimes unnoticeable things. That’s what Bang Carlsen talks about in this film: the search for protagonists, places, events, moods, and their translation into a cinematic narrative. That’s why what we finally encounter in the cinema is neither the protagonist’s story nor the director’s. Instead, the film has found its own truth. And that’s the wonderful thing about filmmaking. In that sense you can’t help agreeing to another comment by Bang Carlsen about his documentary method: “It’s a result of mistaken orthodoxy to be limited by the way the world happens to look.”
Matthias Heeder

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Jon Bang Carlsen
It's Now or Never Jon Bang Carlsen

In “It’s Now or Never”, the rough west coast of Ireland forms the backdrop of a documentary comedy about love, or rather about the search for a woman in a fairly depopulated area.

It's Now or Never

Documentary Film
Denmark
1996
50 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jon Bang Carlsen
Jon Bang Carlsen
Dolores Keane, Tommy & Siobhán Peoples, Garry O'Briain
Donal Gilligan
Molly Malene Stensgaard
Jon Bang Carlsen
Darby Carroll
Jon Bang Carlsen
In his films, Jon Bang Carlsen is consistently drawn to people in remote places. In “It’s Now or Never”, the rough west coast of Ireland forms the backdrop of a documentary comedy about love, or rather about the search for a woman in a fairly depopulated area. Jimmy, in his mid-50s and a bachelor for want of opportunity, turns to a local matchmaker who runs his business from a café. So much for the framework of the narrative in which Bang Carlsen transports us to a reality filled with the bachelors’ wishes and doubts, utterly improbably encounters, and innumerable playful moments. It’s soon clear that the reality that unfolds so seductively on the screen is constructed, organised to meet the demands of film: beautifully photographed faces, stone walls placed in the lush green hills like sculptures, changing camera positions, dispersed dialogue, the magic of Irish rain … and Jimmy, always Jimmy, who only wants a woman who’s a good milker.
Matthias Heeder

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Jon Bang Carlsen
Phoenix Bird Jon Bang Carlsen

The very first shot of the film is testimony to the director’s joy of storytelling: a flock of birds in front of a mountain range, backlighted by the rising hot Arizona sun.

Phoenix Bird

Documentary Film
Denmark
1984
45 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jon Bang Carlsen
Jon Bang Carlsen
Alexander Gruszynski
Anders Refn
Jon Bang Carlsen
Peter Witt
The very first shot of the film is testimony to the director’s joy of storytelling: a flock of birds in front of a mountain range, backlighted by the rising hot Arizona sun, a crushing off commentary by the protagonist about God’s work, cut to a gun, up close. From here on everything in this story can be traced back to this gun – the violence it embodies, the survival it promises, the individual freedom it secures. At least in the eyes of the protagonist of this exciting film about security paranoia – Vietnam vet and ex CIA agent James R. Jarrett, who operates a survival training camp; a warrior of life who relieves his customers of the fear of killing. You can do it! Bang Carlsen has developed his method of “documentary staging” to the point where the staging of the protagonist as a lone cowboy evokes the corresponding Hollywood motive. Which, however, is not used here to calm or legitimise but revealed as the mask of a reality where people mistake individual freedom for the right to use violence.
Matthias Heeder

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Portrait of God

Documentary Film
Denmark
2002
60 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jon Bang Carlsen, Sigve Endresen
Jon Bang Carlsen
Cristóbal de Morales
Jon Bang Carlsen, Michael Buckley
Molly Malene Steensgaard
Jon Bang Carlsen
Henrik Langkilde
No story, no development, no film without doubt. Jon Bang Carlsen’s whole oeuvre is based on this idea – doubting reality, himself, the objectivity of the camera. “I have been fighting to find a filmic structure that would allow doubt to be one of the main characters in my films and yet would still function as a solid framework to hang my filmic fragments on.” In “Portrait of God” – the final part of his “South African Trilogy” – Bang Carlsen as the narrator slips into the role of a detective who investigates a (possible) rumour: the image of God. Full of professional (the detective’s suspiciousness) and personal scepticism, the director of this road movie tracks the ideas that people have of God. In a giant Cape Town prison he at last finds surprising answers and a universal insight: that it’s a sin to look at heaven when you’re looking for God.
Matthias Heeder

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homage Jon Bang Carlsen
Purity Beats Everything Jon Bang Carlsen

A highly original and bold examination of the Holocaust. On the one hand there are two survivors who found a new home in South Africa after the end of the war – in a country that practiced racial segregation even then.

Purity Beats Everything

Documentary Film
Denmark
2007
30 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Marianne Christensen, Jon Bang Carlsen
Jon Bang Carlsen
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Jon Bang Carlsen
Andri Steinn Guðmundsson
Jon Bang Carlsen
Peter Schultz
A highly original and bold examination of the Holocaust. On the one hand there are two survivors who found a new home in South Africa after the end of the war – in a country that practiced racial segregation even then. The depiction of their horrible experiences in the ghettos and death camps is linked by the director’s reflections on a second level to Apartheid, the basic spiritual patterns of European culture and to a present day susceptible to echoes of the past. In this film Bang Carlsen varies his method of “documentary staging”, by staging not the protagonists and their stories but houses, trees, landscapes, animals, even clothespins, which relates both places and times to each other. There is one shot in the film that’s like a blow in the face: we hear of the black fog over Auschwitz and look at the chimney of the director’s home, turned against the sky, emitting wispy smoke. It’s a past that is never over – and a constant and omnipresent threat.
Matthias Heeder

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.