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Members Only Screenings

Sometimes a film is so captivating that you find yourself staring at the screen long after the credits have ended. When this happens to us, we immediately want to share our experience. But not with just anyone. Our Members Only screenings present these rare, neglected, or simply amazing films to our inner circle of card-carrying cinephiles.

Come join us and watch a great film, meet great people and enjoy a lively discussion immediately following the screening. This event is exclusive—envied even—so sign up for a Facets Membership today.

May 23, 2016

The Five Obstructions
(De fem benspænd)

Film still: The Five Obstructions Film still: The Five Obstructions


"It's fascinating to peek at the natural camaraderie of two artists bickering over the need for creative limitations... The Five Obstructions provides a challenging study of how a filmmaker works around the conditions of the day, and his own nature, to record some kind of truth"
  —AV Club
"The Five Obstructions is a kind of reality-TV show for art-movie lovers—an up-market Fear Factor—and, finally, proof that art is created not despite but because of the impediments surrounding it"
4 stars
  —The Dissolve
3 stars
  —Roger Ebert

The Five Obstructions began as an e-mail invitation, issued by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier to his former teacher and mentor, the older, quite accomplished, yet far less well-known filmmaker, Jørgen Leth. The invitation, more specifically, was to participate in a cinematic game, with general parameters established in advance and further rules to be unilaterally produced by von Trier (while interacting with Leth) in the course of the game. The rules dictated that Leth would remake his celebrated twelve-minute modernist nonfiction film from 1967, The Perfect Human (Det perfekte menneske) five times, following obstructive rules laid down by von Trier. The aim of the requirements, it was clear from the start, would be to trip up and thwart Leth, as the term "obstruction" itself would suggest. Leth attempts to embrace the cunning challenges set forth by the devious and sneaky von Trier (who calls himself the Obstructor), and must deal with the limitations, commands and prohibitions. It is a game full of traps and vicious turns as The Five Obstructions becomes a challenging and an investigative journey into the phenomenon of filmmaking.

Directed by Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier, 2003, Denmark/Switzerland/Belgium/France, 90 mins. In Danish, English, French and Spanish with English subtitles. 90 mins.

The screening will be preceded by a reception and followed by a discussion led by Facets Cinémathèque Film Program Director Charles Coleman.

Shown with:

The Perfect Human
(Det perfekte menneske)

Film still: The Perfect Human

An elegant and humorous film-in the guise of a serious anthropological treatise-spotlights "The Perfect Human," a model of the modern Dane created by our wishful thinking.

Directed by Jørgen Leth, Denmark, 1967, 12 mins. In Danish with English subtitles.


  • Monday, May 23 at 6:30 pm


Facets Patron Circle Members and one guest admitted for free

There are no presale tickets—you must receive an invitation from us.

Not a member?

Join Us

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
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  • Polk Bros. Foundation