Henning Carlsen

Henning Carlsen

Infobox actor
name = Henning Carlsen

imagesize = 200px
caption =
birthname =
birthdate = birth date|1927|7|4|df=y
birthplace = Ålborg, Denmark
deathdate =
deathplace =
othername =
occupation = Director Screenwriter Producer
yearsactive = 1950–present
spouse =
domesticpartner =
website =
academyawards =
awards = awd|Bodil Award|1966|Sult
awd|Bodil Award|1967|Mennesker mødes og sød musik opstår i hjertet

Henning Carlsen (1927–) is a Danish film director, screenwriter, and producer most noted for his documentaries and his contributions to the style of cinema verite. [Hjort, Mette & Ib Bondebjerg, "The Danish Directors", Intellect Books, (2001) 228pg, p42ISBN 1841508411] Carlsen's 1966 social-realistic drama "Hunger" ("Sult") was nominated for the Palme D'Or and won the Bodil Award for Best Danish Film. Carlsen also won the Bodil Award the following year for the comedy "People Meet and Sweet Music Fills the Heart". Acting as his own producer since 1960, Carlsen has directed more than 25 films, 19 for which he wrote the screenplay. In 2004, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Copenhagen Film Festival.


Henning Carlsen was born on 4 June 1927 in Aalborg, Denmark. Carlsen became an assistant director at Minerva Film in 1948 and received his on-the-job training there. He was attached with Minerva until 1953 when he shifted to Nordisk Film. Carlsen began by writing and directing short documentaries and industry films, and with this background he flourished in the production of the cinema verite style. [Nissen, Dan "100 Års Dansk Film", Rosinante, (2001) 445pg, p218 ISBN 87-621-0157-9] His documentary trilogy, "De Gamle" ("The Elderly" - 1961)), "Familiebilleder" ("Family pictures"- 1964) and "Ung" ("Youth" - 1965), created a classic portrait of 1960's Denmark as the nation revolutionized and transformed into a modern welfare society [Harv|Nissen|2001|p219] [Harv|Hjort|2001|p=42] Especially noted was Carlsen's technique of rhythmic editing in "De Gamle" which produced a lyrical portrait of retirees without any needed commentary. [Harv|Nissen|2001|p219]

In 1962, Carlsen continued in cinema verite style with his first feature film, the harsh social drama "A World of Strangers" ("Dilemma"). Based upon the 1958 novel bout apartheid by Nadine Gordimer, Carlsen filmed illegally on location in South Africa with use of a hidden camera. [Harv|Hjort|2001|p=42] He followed this effort with the 1966 drama "Hunger" ("Sult") based upon the autobiographical novel of Norwegian author Knut Hamsun. With its stark focus on a life of poverty and desperation, the film is considered a masterpiece of social realism and is one of the ten films listed in Denmark's cultural canon by the Danish Ministry of Culture. Carlsen was nominated for the Palme D'Or and won the Bodil Award for Best Danish Film.

The following year, Carlsen changed pace from his realistic dramas and made the comedy "People Meet and Sweet Music Fills the Heart" ("Mennesker mødes og sød musik opstår i hjertet") based on the work of Jens August Schade. Again, he was awarded the Bodil Award for Best Danish Film. During his career, Carlsen has maintained interest in popular comedies with such films as "Oh, to Be on the Bandwagon!" ("Man sku være noget ved musikken"), in collaboration with Benny Andersen, and "I Wonder Who's Kissing You Now?". In 1967, Carlsen returned to the same format of social realism in used in "Sult" with the drama "We are All Demons" ("Klaubauterman"), a story based upon a novel by Axel Sandemose.

In 1986, Carlsen filmed the international production "Wolf at the Door" starring Donald Sutherland. During his career, Carlsen has written 19 films and directed 21. He has also directed for both theater and television. Since 1966, Carlsen has been a teacher and member of the advisory council for the National Film School in Denmark. In 2004, Carlsen was given the Lifetime Acheivement Award at the Copenhagen Film Festival.

Personal life

Carlsen Henning was married the first time to Hjørdis Wirth Jensen. In 1975 he married a second time with film consultant Else Heidary.



Further reading

Wakeman, John. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 180-184. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988. ISBN-13 9780824207571

External links

*imdb name|id=0137830
* [http://dnfx.dfi.dk/pls/dnf/pwt.page_setup?p_pagename=dnfnavn&p_parmlist=navneid=1506 Henning Carlsen] at Det Danske Filminstitut
* [http://www.danskefilm.dk/personer.php?id=3773 Henning Carlsen] at The Danish Film Database (in Danish)

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