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Jørgen Leth

Danish poet and filmaker Jørgen Leth could find poetry in the simple act of cleaning a bike. The opening scene of his classic documentary film, A Sunday in Hell (1976), elevates the almost ritualistic preparation of a Benotto bicycle for the 1976 edition of Paris-Roubaix to something approaching a meditation or benediction.

Leth’s other experimental films like the surrealistic The Perfect Human (1967) and his collaboration with fellow Dane, Lars Von Trier, The Five Obstructions may have appealed to the cinema intelligentsia, but his acknowledgment of the beauty to be found in cycling touches a deeper nerve for those who already know it.

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