Review: ‘Erotic Man’

Project is undermined by its attempt to describe the indescribable, and verges on being most suitable as a Playboy cable item.

His so-called “creative producer” Lars von Trier once confronted him with “The Five Obstructions,” but Danish documentarian Jorgen Leth creates his own insurmountable obstacles in the embarrassing “Erotic Man.” Proposing to “frame eroticism” (Leth’s words) and define it, while also providing a diary of the filmmaker’s encounters and affairs, the project is undermined by its attempt to describe the indescribable, and verges on being most suitable as a Playboy cable item. Despite the prestige names involved, fests may generally pass on this doodle.

From Dakar to Rio, Leth recalls his (apparently many) past erotic encounters with a lineup of lovely, usually lithe women. Integrating his own poems over dreamy footage shot in a wide range of media across decades of accumulated material, Leth not only has no problem, as an older, white European man, ogling young, darker-skinned women from the Third World; he revels in it. Leth’s casting sessions for some of the shooting suggest how much of this is staged, while a moment of actual coitus with long-term Haitian g.f. Dorothie Laguerre is nothing but a clip from any old sex tape.

Erotic Man



A Zentropa Entertainment/Nordisk Film production. (International sales: TrustNordisk, Hvidovre, Denmark.) Produced by Marianne Christensen. Executive producers, Erik Crone, Kim Magnusson, Thomas Heinesen, Marie Gade Denessen, Peter Aalbeck Jensen. Creative producer, Lars von Trier. Directed, written by Jorgen Leth.


Camera (color/B&W, DV, 16mm, Super 8), Dan Holmberg, Adam Philp; editors, Camilla Skousen, Morten Hojbjerg; music, Kristian Leth, Fridolin Nordso. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Masters), Sept. 11, 2010. Running time: 89 MIN.


Jorgen Leth, Dorothie Laguerre, Schilaine Cayo, Rokhaya Niang. Narrator: Leth. (Danish, English, French dialogue)

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety