Tag Archives: Les Blank

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

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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)

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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)

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“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 – Gap-Toothed Women (1987)

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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)

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“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)

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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)

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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.

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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 »