How to Smell a Rose
A Visit with Ricky Leacock at His Farm in Normandy

Les Blank Films
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Screening Room with Ricky Leacock
Ricky Leacock visited Screening Room on June 15, 1973, with Al Mecklenburg and Jon Rosenfeld. He demonstrates super-8 sync technology and screens excerpts from his films Republicans: The New Breed and Queens of Apollo, as well as rare footage of Indira Ghandi. From his first film depicting his boyhood life…
Short Films of Les Blank III [Student Films]
Les Blank attended USC School of Cinematic Arts and pursued a Ph.D. in communications. These sudent films, made from 1960-1962, represent his initial interest in making narrative films. Three of the films freature his wife at the time, Gail Blank, and he himself appears in two of the films as…
Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers
In this love letter to "the stinking rose," documentarian Les Blank interviews garlic fanatics of all stripes, from cooks to members of garlic appreciation societies. The film, (a lip-smacking foray into the history, consumption, cultivation and culinary/curative powers of the stinking rose) features internationally renowned chef Alice Waters of Chez…
Short Films of Les Blank II
Five short films from Les Blank Films.
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.
Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins
The great Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins is captured brilliantly in this deeply moving film. Blank reveals Lightnin's inspiration, and features a generous helping of classic blues, including the songs, Mr. Charlie and Your Rollin' Mill is Burnin' Down. Includes performances at an outdoor barbeque, a black rodeo, and a visit…
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…
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…
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.
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…
Conversations with Jean Rouch
This intimate, revealing film of conversations between Jean Rouch and a number of filmmakers and friends including John Marshall is unlike any past films on Rouch's life and work. It was shot over a two-year period, 1978-80 by his friend, Ann McIntosh, who taught video under Ricky Leacock at MIT.…