A SUNDAY IN HELL
Dir: Jørgen Leth, 1976.
93 min. Denmark.
In Danish with English subtitles.
TUESDAY, MARCH 12TH - 10PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 17TH - 10PM
THURSDAY, MARCH 21ST - 7:30PM
“Action, drama, torture, and even heroism.”
Logging miles and investigating the most quotidian details, Jørgen Leth's A SUNDAY IN HELL tenderly investigates the potent cocktail of culture and humanity that add up to a bicycling championship.
The subject is the legendary Paris-Roubaix race, and Leth’s production deploys a small army’s worth of camera positions. Whether you wear one of those silly-looking biker caps every day or you've never gripped a pair of handlebars in your life, you'll be pulverized by the cinematography: regularly zooming in on individual participants from parallel cars, bikes and helicopters, the camera tracks rivers of bikes as they bend along sunny curves and the race guts entire towns, trickling out into the countryside.
The relationship between camera and subject make for a grueling, classic documentary that feels closer to live dance; the dust-caked faces of the agog spectators will match your own.
"You can see every bead of sweat on the cyclists and every smashed-up ankle. It really makes you never want to get on a bike again. But it is an amazing film." - Nick Fraser, BBC
"Arguably the best film ever made about professional cycling." - Peter Cowie, International Film Guide