Les Blank

  • Les Blank – Spend It All (1972)

    1971-1980DocumentaryLes BlankShort FilmUSA

    Spend it All is one of those films that makes you happy that Blank had a camera and decided to walk outside on those days and point it at things. What he captures is so real, so vivid, raw, visceral, and alive. The vibrancy of the people and the palpableness of the subtle wonders of regular things seeps through that gives this film a thick flavor of life in cajun country; richly mingled with horses and livestock, catching crawdads in the creek with your dad, the smell of freshly cut grass, horse races on a dirt track, live radio broadcasts of a local cajun fiddle player, the whiskey flowin a might regular. This is good, country livin’, simple, unfettered and borderline ecstatic.Read More »

  • Les Blank, Vikram Jayanti & Chris Simon – Innocents Abroad (1991)

    1991-2000Chris SimonDocumentaryLes BlankUSAVikram Jayanti


    Innocents Abroad is a delightful, lighthearted film about forty American tourists visiting ten European countries in a whirlwind two weeks. Globus Gateway Tours allowed Les Blank and his film crew complete and uncensored access to “European Horizons” tour #KH1009A. The tour closely follows the nineteenth century traditional “Grand Tour”, starting in London and visiting Amsterdam, Heidelberg, The Black Forest, Lucerne, Innsbruck, Venince, Rome, Pisa, Nice, Avignon, and Paris. The film chronicles a diverse group of Americans experiencing Europe for the first time, struggling with and laughing about cultural differences, and seeing ancient sites and legendary cities, all led by witty and inimitable Englishman Mark Tinney. For some of the tourists, this is their first venture out into the world; for others, it is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.Read More »

  • Les Blank & Gina Leibrecht – All in This Tea (2007)

    2001-2010DocumentaryGina LeibrechtLes BlankUSA

    During the 1990s, David Lee Hoffman searched throughout China for the finest teas. He’s a California importer who, as a youth, lived in Asia for years and took tea with the Dali Lama. Hoffman’s mission is to find and bring to the U.S. the best hand picked and hand processed tea. This search takes him directly to farms and engages him with Chinese scientists, business people, and government officials: Hoffman wants tea grown organically without a factory, high-yield mentality. By 2004, Hoffman has seen success: there are farmer’s collectives selling tea, ways to export “boutique tea” from China, and a growing Chinese appreciation for organic farming’s best friend, the earthworm.Read More »

  • Les Blank – A Poem Is a Naked Person (1974)

    1971-1980DocumentaryLes BlankPerformanceUSA

    “Les Blank made A Poem Is A Naked Person during 1972-74, while living at the Russell/Shelter records recording studio compound on Grand Lake Of The Cherokees in NE Oklahoma. While the film has had few public showings as, apparantly, Mr. Russell is not keen on sharing it with his public.Read More »

  • Les Blank – J’ai été au bal AKA I Went To The Dance (1989)

    USA1981-1990DocumentaryLes Blank

    The definitive film on the history of the toe-tapping, foot-stomping music of French Southwest Louisiana. Includes many Cajun and Zydeco greats, featuring Michael Doucet and Beausoleil, Clifton Chenier, Marc and Ann Savoy, D.L. Menard, and many othersRead More »

  • Les Blank – Gap-Toothed Women (1987)

    1981-1990DocumentaryLes BlankShort FilmUSA

    A charming valentine to women born with a space between their teeth, ranging from lighthearted whimsy to a deeper look at issues like self-esteem and societal attitudes toward standards of beauty. Interviews were conducted with over one hundred women, including model Lauren Hutton and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.Read More »

  • Les Blank – Chulas Fronteras [+Extras] (1976)

    1971-1980DocumentaryLes BlankMusicalUSA

    “Chulas Fronteras” is a documentary about the music of the Mexican community on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border, particularly of migrant farmers. It includes material about the roots of the music, but devotes principal attention to the music as a form of social protest against oppression and racism.Read More »

  • Les Blank – Del Mero Corazon (1979)

    1971-1980DocumentaryLes BlankShort FilmUSA

    Using music of the genre, a short look at Tex-Mex music, how it expresses love found and love lost, and how it comes straight from the heart.Read More »

  • Les Blank – Burden of Dreams (1982)

    1981-1990ArthouseDocumentaryLes BlankUSAWerner Herzog

    A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog’s epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively driven director.

    Les Blank’s “Burden of Dreams” is one of the most remarkable documentaries ever made about the making of a movie. There are at least two reasons for that. One is that the movie being made, Werner Herzog’s “Fitzcarraldo,” involved some of the most torturous and dangerous on-location shooting experiences in film history. The other is that the documentary is by Les Blank, himself a brilliant filmmaker, who is unafraid to ask difficult questions and portray Herzog, warts and all.Read More »

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