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Burden of Dreams
For nearly five years, acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog desperately tried to complete one of the most ambitious and difficult films of his career, Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man's attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle. Documentary filmmaker Les Blank captured the unfolding of this…
All in This Tea
This film follows world-renowned tea expert David Lee Hoffman to remote regions of China in search of the best handmade teas in existence. As a tea importer, Hoffman's obsession with this ancient beverage led him from "insipid tea bags in America" to far-flung tea regions in Asia. In the process,…
Oh My God! It's Harrod Blank
An obsessively-made documentary, filmed over 16 years, exploring the creative life and adventures of the eccentric artist and entrepreneur Harrod Blank. From his youth growing up in the woods with chickens and working as a camera assistant for his father- the venerable film-maker Les Blank- to the creation of his…
Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists
This documentary from Les Blank follows the indomitable Gerald "The Maestro" Gaxiola, who turned to a life of prolific art making after years as an aircraft mechanic, traveling salesman, and body builder.
The Ghost
Ji-won, played by the popular Korean actress Kim Ha-Neul (My Tutor Friend, The Duelist, and the hit Korean TV show Damo) is a bright young student, but something happened to her that left her with a blank memory. She has very little recollection of who she is or her life…
Always for Pleasure
Les Blank's celebration of the spirit and social traditions of New Orleans, featuring Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day celebrations. It is an intense insider's portrait of New Orleans' street celebrations and the unique cultural gumbo of Second-line parades, Mardi Gras, and the Jazz Fest. The film features live music…
Lurdja Magdany
This chamber drama is set in Georgia on the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. A simple peasant family makes its living by selling yoghurt which the Magdany widow takes every morning to the town market. Once, in their mother's absence, the children - six-year-old Mikho and three-year-old Kato…
J'ai ete au bal [I Went to the Dance]
The definitive film, by Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz, on the history of the toe-tapping, foot-stomping music of French Southwest Louisiana. The film includes many Cajun and Zydeco greats, featuring Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil, Clifton Chenier, Marc and Ann Savoy, D.L. Menard, and many others.
How to Smell a Rose - A Visit with Ricky Leacock at His Farm in Normandy
HOW TO SMELL A ROSE documents Les Blank's visit with the legendary co-founder of Direct Cinema, Richard Leacock (1921-2011), in 2000. At his farm in Normandy, France, Blank, and co-director Gina Leibrecht, recorded conversations with Leacock about his life, his work, and his other passion: cooking! In the early sixties,…
Blank City
BLANK CITY is an "absorbing snapshot of a daring time" (LA Times) when a disparate crew of renegade filmmakers emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history. From the late 1970's through the mid 80's, when the East Village was still a wasteland of cheap rent…
A Poem is a Naked Person
Les Blank considered this free-form feature documentary about beloved singer-songwriter Leon Russell, filmed between 1972 and 1974, to be one of his greatest accomplishments. Yet it has not been released until now. Hired by Russell to film him at his recording studio in northeast Oklahoma, Blank ended up constructing a…
11 Flowers
One of China's foremost directors, Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle, Shanghai Dreams) has created a moving coming-of-age tale set in the final days of China's Cultural Revolution. 11-year-old Wang lives with his family in a remote village in Guizhou province. Life is tough, but they make the most of what little…