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Roos, Jörgen

ROOS, Jörgen


Nationality: Danish. Born: Gilleleje, Denmark, 14 August 1922. Family: Married Naomi Silberstein, 1957. Career: Cameraman, 1939–47; founder, Copenhagen film club, with painter Albert Mertz; scriptwriter, director, and cameraman on documentaries, from 1947; co-founder, Association of Danish Film Directors, 1956. Awards: Silver Bear, Berlin Festival, for Knud, 1966. Died: 13 September 1998, in Denmark.


Films as Director:


(documentaries, unless indicated)

1942

Flugten (The Flight) (co-d with Albert Mertz)

1943

Kaerlighed paa Rullesköjter (co-d with Mertz); Hjertetyven (Thief of Hearts) (co-d with Mertz)

1944

Richard Mortensens bevaegelige Maleri; Historien om en Mand (Story of a Man) (co-d with Mertz) (unfinished)

1947

Paa Besög hos Kong Tingeling (co-d with Mertz); Goddag Dyr! (co-d with Mertz); Isen brydes (co-d); Johannes V. Jensen; Opus 1; Reflexfilm

1948

Mikkel

1949

Paris på to måder; Jean Cocteau; Tristan Tzara, dadaismens fader; Det definitive afslag på anmodningen om et kys (co-d)

1950

Spiste horisonter (co-d); Johannes Jörgensen i Assisi; Shakespeare og Kronborg (Hamlet's Castle)

1951

Historien om et slot, J. F. Willumsen

1952

Den strömlinjede gris; Slum; Feriebörn

1953

Lyset i natten; Spaedbarnet; The Newborn (Goddag börn); Skyldig—ikke skyldig

1954

Kalkmalerier; Inge bliver voksen; Avisen; Martin Andersen Nexos sidste rejse; Johannes Jörgensen i Svendborg

1955

Mit livs eventyr (My Life Story)

1956

Sölv

1957

Ellehammer; Johannes Larsen

1958

Magie du diamant (Magic of the Diamond); 6-dageslöbet (The Six Days) (feature)

1959

Friluft (Pure Air)

1960

En by ved navn Köbenhaven (A City Called Copenhagen); Danish Design; Staphylokok-faren

1961

Föroyar Faeröerne; Hamburg

1962

Vi haenger i en tråd

1963

Oslo

1965

Stöj

1966

Carl Th. Dreyer; Knud; Sisimiut

1967

En fangerfamilie i Thuledistriktet; 17 minutter Grönland; Grönlandske dialektoptagelser og trommedanse fra Thuledistriktet; Et år med Henry

1968

Ultima Thule

1969

Det er tilladt at vaere åndssvag

1970

Kaláliuvit (Er du grönlaender)

1971

Andersens hemmelighed

1972

Huse til mennesker; Udflytterne; To maend i ödemarken; Ulrik fortaeller en historie

1974

I den store pyramide; J. Th. Arnfred

1975

Andersen hos fotografen

1977

14 dage i jernalderen; Monarki og demokrati

1978

Carl Nielsen 1865–1931

1979

Nuuk 250 år

1980

Slaedepatruljen Sirius; Grönland

1982

Knud Rasmussens mindeekspedition til Kap Seddon

1984

Lille Cirkus; De unge gamle

1985

Harald Sæverud—1 en alder af 88 år

1988

Chr. IV—Tegselver icke mig

1989

Den levende virkelighed; Victor Brockdorff—en portrætskitse



Other Film:


1971

Er i bange (Are You Afraid) (Carlsen) (ph)

Publications:


On ROOS: articles—

Variety (New York), 24 April 1974.

Variety (New York), 6 May 1981.

Hamon, V., "Chasseur de secret," in Bref (Paris), no. 29, Summer 1996.

Brinch, Sara, "Katalog mellom stive permer," in Z, no. 67, 1999.


* * *

Jörgen Roos is the unrivalled master of the Danish documentary film, having worked for more than forty years in this field. He has won international recognition and has received prizes at international short film festivals. Only once has he tried to direct a feature film.

Roos started out as a cameraman, taught by his brother, Karl Roos, and Theodor Christensen, the pioneer of the documentary film in Denmark. Karl Roos and Theodor Christensen were both active filmmakers, and also eminent film theoreticians. Christensen was influenced by the British documentary movement and considered himself a committed documentary filmmaker. Jörgen Roos was inspired by those two and he acquired a wide knowledge of the theory and the history of cinema. After having worked as a cameraman, he made his first experimental film in 1942 with the painter Albert Mertz, and this pair created the most interesting and original Danish avant-garde films of the 1940s. Since 1952 Roos has made numerous documentaries for governmental institutions and private companies. Besides these commissioned films he has worked on projects of his own, and in recent years he has had his own production company.

To the commissioned film Roos has brought a fresh and unconventional approach, and his way of solving the official tasks is often witty, surprising, and keen. His films are always one-man projects. He writes his own scripts, directs, and is often cameraman. And he is always the editor, because it is in the cutting room that he gives his films their definitive and personal form. Roos is superior in the short form: his editing is rhythmical, and his films have a fascinating, fast-moving drive. He likes to tease, to find unusual points of view, and he has an eye for the curious. His brilliant technique, however, can lead him into the superficial.

In 1955 Roos made one of his best films, Mit livs eventyr, about Hans Andersen. In this film he brought the iconographic technique to perfection, and he used it in later films. One of his most popular and widely known films is A City Called Copenhagen, from 1960, an untraditional and ironic tourist film. Roos was asked to make similar city portraits of Hamburg and Oslo, and has portrayed Danish personalities such as Nobel laureate Johannes V. Jensen, Carl Th. Dreyer, Greenland explorer Knud Rasmussen, and composer Carl Nielsen. In his later years Roos explored his special interest in Greenland. He lost his heart to this exceptional country and he explored both the old and the new Greenland in many films. In these later films, Roos replaced the cool, detached view characteristic of his earlier films with a more engaged view. His films about Greenland highlighted his deep-felt commitment to the land which he, more than anyone else, has brought to the screen.

—Ib Monty

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