1971-1980ArthouseDocumentaryLes BlankUSA

Les Blank – Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980)

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A documentary on the history of garlic. Blank interviews chefs, garlic lovers, and historians about the their love of the ‘stinking rose.’

From lesblank.com:
Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980)

A zesty paean of praise to the greater glories of garlic. This lip-smacking foray into the history, consumption, cultivation and culinary/curative powers of the stinking rose features chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, and a flavorful musical soundtrack.

The SF Chronicle called this paean to garlic “a joyous, nose-tweaking, ear-tingling, mouth-watering tribute to a Life Force.” Nothing less than a hymn to the stinking rose of the kitchen, this lovingly photographed documentary is an odyssey of garlic feasts alternated with uniquely individual interviews of garlic afficionados. Not only does the film promote garlic as our first line of defense against all forms of blandness; it also titillates the taste buds with shots of garlic dishes sizzling in their pans. Les Blank shows again that he knows how to have a good time and share it on film – especially if it involves food!

At the end of 2004 ‘Garlic’ was one of 25 films, selected by The Library Of Congress, to be added to the National Film Registry list of now 400 motion pictures, to be preserved in perpetuity. Other films in this group include Ben Hur, Jail House Rock and Duck And Cover. Les’Chulas Fronteras was selected previously for The National Film Registry. (Only two other documentarians, Frederick Wiseman and Albert Maysles, have as many non-fiction films represented in the registry.)

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