Always for Pleasure

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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…
God Respects Us When We Work, But Loves Us When We Dance
Blank took his camera to the historic 1967 Easter Sunday love-in in Los Angeles for this immersive, even spiritual collage of a film.
In Heaven There is No Beer?
A cinematic jamboree, this film finds Blank in a characteristically jubilant mode as he explores "polka happiness" and the Polish American polka subculture.
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
Les Blank reveals the inspiration of great Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins, 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 to his boyhood town of Centerville, Texas.…
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…
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…
Spend It All
Blank journeys down the bayous and byways of Southwest Louisiana in this riveting portrait of the region's Cajun community.
Tchoupitoulas - A Portrait of New Orleans
A visually exhilarating and aurally immersive record of one night in New Orleans. Three adolescent brothers journey through the lamplit streets encountering a kaleidoscope of dancers, musicians, hustlers, and revelers.
Dry Wood
Blank ventured back to Southwest Louisiana for this work of ramshackle beauty, an immersion in the region's black Creole community that teems with delightful detail.
Gap-Toothed Women
Blank breezily questions our commonly accepted standards of beauty with this paean to women with extra-wide dental spaces.
A Well Spent Life
Musician Mance Lipscomb commands the screen in Blank's vivid sketch of a man some consider the greatest blues guitarist who ever lived.