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Les Blank Films
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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.
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…
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…
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…
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.
Ziveli! Medicine for the Heart
This little known Les Blank gem is a portrait of the Serbian-American communities of California and Chicago. At the time of the California Gold Rush, the first Serbian immigrants arrived from the rugged Balkan Peninsula to settle in the New World. Against great obstacles, Serbian religion and identity had survived…
Hot Pepper
This is an energetic portrait of the Grammy-winning Creole musician Clifton Chenier, a.k.a. the King of Zydeco; Blank beautifully captures his music's propulsive, foot-tapping joy.
Screening Room with Les Blank
Beginning with The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins in 1969, Les Blank has become known for his films about indigenous southern music and various other topics. He has received numerous major awards including the British Academy Award for Burden of Dreams, about Werner Herzog and the making of Fitzcarraldo, top…
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…
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,…
This Ain't No Mouse Music
Roots music icon Chris Strachwitz is a detective of sounds, an archaeologist of deep American music, the antithesis of the corporate mouse music that dominates the American ear. Born a German count, Strachwitz fled his homeland after WWII at 16. In the United States he discovered, and shared, a musical…
Short Films of Les Blank II
Five short films from Les Blank Films.