Jon Bang Carlsen Retrospective

13 March, 20:30 - 16 March, 20:30

Studio Horia Bernea (Romanian Peasant Museum), 3 Kiseleff Blvd., entrance from Monetariei Str.

Jon Bang Carlsen - The Inventor of Reality

13 March / 20:30 - Jon Bang Carlsen Retrospective 1
Before The Guests Arrive, 1986, 17'
Hotel of the Stars, 1981, 56'

14 March / 18:00 - Jon Bang Carlsen Retrospective 2
My Irish Diary, 1996, 30'
It’s Now or Never, 1996, 45'
How to Invent Reality, 1996, 30'

15 March / 18:00 - Jon Bang Carlsen Retrospective 3
Addicted to Solitude, 1999, 60'
Purity Beats Everything, 2007, 52'

16 March / 20:30 - Jon Bang Carlsen Retrospective 4
Just the Right Amount of Violence, 2013, 80'


Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. And so are films.” (Jon Bang Carlsen in Addicted to Solitude)

Practically unknown in Romania, Jon Bang Carlsen is a filmmaker in his sixties who – even though he has the status of a living legend in his country – continues to search and innovate like a young debutant. He started in the 1970s with films with actors, and then migrated to that no man's land at the border between documentary and fiction. He lived for eight years in South Africa, he filmed a lot in Ireland and the United States, and now he lives on an isolated farm in Denmark. Carlsen has the appearance of a gentle athlete trying to tackle reality. His method consists of recreating in front of the camera scenes that his absolutely real characters could have lived, or that the director had observed while scouting. Everything takes place in plain sight and his film How to Invent Reality explains his modus operandi in detail. The author is always somewhat present in the frame, because, he explains: "My films are not the truth, they just express the way I feel the world. That’s all."

From the lines above, you might think that Jon Bang Carlsen is the egotistical type of director, only interested in his shadow. Not true: there is a type of affection in his films, full of humour towards his characters, be them Irish peasants long past their first youth and still hoping to get married, or white farmers in South Africa, confused and alone after the fall of apartheid. Between the rebel young people of Los Angeles, their parents and Carlsen, a moving relationship forms in his latest film, Just the Right Amount of Violence, which the director has kindly allowed us to present as a sneak preview. His themes intersect ours at this edition of the festival: the toxic presence of hate, the manipulation of reality, adolescence as a territory that should be protected.

Jon is more interested in filmmaking as a process and in the relationship with the people, more than in the final product, which explains why his films are so hard to place into a category or another. We want to extend this sense of dialogue with the One World Romania audience, both through his work – of which we’ll show a substantial selection – and through his presence in Bucharest. We are sure that this life and film experience will stay with us for a long time.