Films by Les Blank

The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1969)

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The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins (1969) Buy DVD For Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion The great Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins is captured brilliantly in this deeply moving film. Blank reveals Lightnin's inspiration, [...]

Thailand Moment (1967-2015)

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Thailand Moment (1967/2015) Buy DVD In 1967 Les Blank and Skip Gerson were hired to work in Thailand on a documentary about the B52 Bomber and its use in bombing campaigns over Vietnam. The producer had difficulty getting permission from the Thai government allowing the filmmakers access to the [...]

Gap-Toothed Women (1987)

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Gap-Toothed Women (1987) Buy DVD For Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion A charming valentine to women born with a space between their teeth, ranging from lighthearted whimsy to a deeper look [...]

Spend It All (1971)

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Spend It All (1971) Buy DVD For Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming NOTE: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion A rich portrayal of the lives and music of the French-speaking Cajuns of Louisiana, featuring the Balfa Brothers, Marc Savoy [...]

A Well Spent Life (1971)

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A Well Spent Life (1971) Buy DVD For Home Use Buy Box Set For Home Use* * Box Set contains 14 Les Blank films remastered by Criterion (average price $6.25 per film!) Kanopy Educational Streaming Alexander Street Educational Streaming Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact [...]

Chulas Fronteras (1976)

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Chulas Fronteras (1976) Buy DVD For Home or Educational Kanopy Educational Streaming A complex, insightful look at the Chicano experience as mirrored in the lives and music of the most acclaimed Norteño musicians of the Texas-Mexican border, including Flaco Jimenez and Lydia Mendoza. Video includes bonus feature, Del Mero Corazon. This film was [...]

In Heaven There Is No Beer? (1984)

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In Heaven There Is No Beer? (1984) Buy DVD For Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming NOTE: For Educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion A joyous romp through the dance, food, music, friendship, and even religion of the Polka. The explosive [...]

Yum, Yum, Yum! A Taste of Cajun and Creole Cooking (1990)

Yum, Yum, Yum! A Taste of Cajun and Creole Cooking (1990) Buy DVD For Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming NOTE: For Educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion Les Blank marries his passion for spicy, down home food and his love [...]

Hot Pepper (1973)

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Hot Pepper (1973) Buy DVD for Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion This film is a thrilling musical portrait of Zydeco King Clifton Chenier, who combines the pulsating rhythms of Cajun dance music, [...]

Sworn To the Drum: A Tribute to Francisco Aguabella (1995)

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Sworn To the Drum: A Tribute to Francisco Aguabella (1995) Buy DVD for Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion Aguabella, a master of both the bata tradition of drumming, (in the sacred celebrations [...]

Sprout Wings and Fly (1983)

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Sprout Wings and Fly (1983) Buy DVD For Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion This touching tribute to Appalachian culture profiles legendary, old-time fiddler Tommy Jarrell. His unpretentious folk wisdom is interlaced with [...]

God Respects Us When We Work, But Loves Us When We Dance (1968)

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God Respects Us When We Work, But Loves Us When We Dance (1968) Buy Alone DVD Buy On Six Short Films DVD   Hippies and flower children dance and create rituals at the historic Los Angeles “Love-In” of Easter Sunday, 1967. This ’60s classic documents a once-in a lifetime [...]

The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists (1994)

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The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists (1994) Buy DVD For Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Press Edu Streaming NOTE: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion What happens when a dedicated husband and father quits his job, adopts the persona of a [...]

The Maestro Rides Again! (2005)

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The Maestro Rides Again! (2005) Buy on The Maestro DVD Les Blank continued filming the Maestro after the original film “The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists” was completed. Here are the Maestro’s latest creations and more on his uncompromising philosophy of art and life. A film by Les Blank, edited [...]

Six Short Films of Les Blank (1960-1985)

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Six Short Films of Les Blank (1960-1985) Buy DVD Kanopy Educational Streaming Anthology of six short films, including: Dizzy Gillespie Chicken Real Cigarette Blues God Respects Us When We Work, But Loves Us When We Dance Running Around Like A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off The Sun’s Gonna Shine For individual descriptions, [...]

Ry Cooder Group ’88 in Santa Cruz

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Ry Cooder Group ’88 in Santa Cruz Not available for screening, distribution, or sale. Ry Cooder Group ’88 in Santa Cruz Les Blank (USA, 1988) Slide-guitar great and world music alchemist Ry Cooder handpicked an orchestra of virtuoso musicians for a brief tour, including accordionist Flaco Jiménez, eccentric pianist Van Dyke Parks, drummer Jim Keltner, [...]

A Blank Buffet (2007)

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A Blank Buffet (2007) Buy DVD A sampler of the most memorable scenes of music, food, and people from Les Blank’s films from 1967 to 2007. An exciting introduction to Blank’s work. DVD includes footage from: Always For Pleasure A Well Spent Life Burden of Dreams Chulas Fronteras Dry Wood Gap-Toothed Women Garlic Is As [...]

Del Mero Corazon (1979)

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Del Mero Corazon (1979) Buy on Chulas Fronteras DVD Kanopy Educational Streaming A lyrical journey through the heart of Chicano culture as reflected in the love songs of the Tex-Mex Norteña music tradition. Performers include, Little Joe & La Familia, Leo Garza, Chavela Ortiz, Andres Berlanga, Ricardo Mejia, Conjunto Tamaulipas, Chavela y Brown [...]

Les Blank’s Student Films – 1960/1962

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Les Blank's Student Films - 1960/1962 Buy DVD   Les Blank attended USC School of Cinematic Arts and pursued a Ph.D. in Communications. These student films, made in the years 1960-1962, represent his initial interest in making narrative films. Three of the films feature his wife at the time, Gail Blank, and he [...]

Cigarette Blues (1985)

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Cigarette Blues (1985) Buy On Six Short Films DVD Kanopy Educational Streaming This is a microcosmic Les Blank film in which bluesman Sonny Rhodes simultaneously addresses three of the filmmaker’s longstanding obsessions: death, cigarette smoking, and the nature of the blues. Soundtrack features Sonny Rhodes and the Texas Twisters performing at Eli’s Mile High [...]

Roots of Rhythm (1990)

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Roots of Rhythm (1990) (Directed Cuban & NY sequences) This film is currently unavailable. Harry Belafonte hosts this three-part documentary tracing the history of Latin music from its African and Spanish roots to its Caribbean and Cuban flowering and its continuing popularity in America. Features performance clips from the full spectrum of Latin-influenced performers such [...]

Running Around Like A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off (1960)

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Running Around Like A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off (1960) Buy On Six Short Films DVD Buy On Student Films DVD   Educational Streaming Les Blank’s first student film, starring Gail Blank, Pieter Van Deusen and Les himself. This short pays hommage to Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal, the film that inspired Blank to [...]

A Poem Is A Naked Person (1974/2015)

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A Poem Is A Naked Person (1974/2015) Buy DVD or Blu-Ray for Home Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion Kanopy Educational Streaming Buy T-Shirt We are greatly saddened to share news of Leon Russell's passing on November 13, 2016. After seeing [...]

My Old Fiddle: A Visit with Tommy Jarrell in the Blue Ridge (1994)

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My Old Fiddle: A Visit with Tommy Jarrell in the Blue Ridge (1994) Buy on Sprout Wings and Fly DVD Educational Streaming   The long-awaited sequel to Sprout Wings and Fly (Les Blank’s first film about this homegrown Appalachian fiddler and raconteur) is a gentle celebration of mountain living, a once-thriving American [...]

Julie: Old Time Tales of the Blue Ridge (1991)

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Julie: Old Time Tales of the Blue Ridge (1991) Sold On Sprout Wings & Fly DVD Kanopy Edu Streaming 80-year-old Julie Lyon, sister of Old Time fiddler Tommy Jarrell, lights up this gem of a film as she spins tales of her Appalachian childhood in North Carolina — and her first [...]

Christopher Tree (1967)

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Christopher Tree (1967) Buy DVD For Home Or Educational Kanopy Educational Streaming This film, photographed and edited by Les Blank, (produced and directed by Pieter Van Deusen) documents a spontaneously improvised concert by musician Christopher Tree. With his one-man orchestra, including 40 Tibetan temple gongs, flutes, tympani and wind chimes, Christopher Tree whirls [...]

The Sun’s Gonna Shine (1969)

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The Sun’s Gonna Shine (1969) Buy On Lightnin' Hopkins DVD   Buy On Six Short Films DVD   Educational Streaming   A lyrical recreation of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ decision at age eight to stop chopping cotton and start singing for a living. Folklorist/Ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax called Blank’s stunning and elegiac short [...]

J’ai Été Au Bal / I Went to the Dance (1989)

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J’ai Été Au Bal / I Went to the Dance (1989) Buy DVD for Home or Edu Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming 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 [...]

Chicken Real (1970)

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Chicken Real (1970) Buy on Six Short Films DVD Educational Streaming   One of Blank’s industrial films, which follows a Holly Farms "broiler" chicken from factory incubation to the barbecue pit at a county fair. A hilarious, disturbing but, ultimately simply surreal look at a large-scale chicken farm that produces 156 million chickens [...]

Dizzie Gillespie (1964)

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Dizzy Gillespie (1964) Buy On Six Short Films DVD Educational Streaming This is Les Blank’s earliest music film, focusing on the renown trumpet player, Dizzy Gillespie, who along with Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Sonny Rollins and others sparked the change from traditional Jazz to “Bebop” in mid 1940s America. The film includes rare images [...]

Puamana (1991)

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Puamana (1991) Buy DVD For Home Or Edu Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Aloha! This gentle portrait of Auntie Irmgard Farden Aluli, one of Hawaii’s best loved composers, focuses on Hawaiian women’s contributions to family structure, art, music and dance. An intimate glimpse into the real culture of the islands. [...]

Huey Lewis And The News: BEFORE! (1986)

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Huey Lewis And The News: BEFORE! (1986) Buy DVD For Home or Edu Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Huey Lewis And The News: BEFORE! follows one of the world’s top rock-and-roll bands of the 80’s and a crew of fifty technicians to the Bahamas for the making of a music [...]

Innocents Abroad (1991)

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Innocents Abroad (1991) Buy DVD For Home Or Edu Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Innocents Abroad takes an amusing look at how Europeans and Americans stereotype each other, and also examines the validity of twentieth-century-style high speed, mass tourism. It is a glimpse into an important industry which is vital [...]

Ziveli! Medicine for the Heart (1987)

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Ziveli! Medicine for the Heart (1987) Buy DVD For Home or Edu Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming This little known Les Blank gem is a portrait of the Serbian-American communities of California and Chicago. At the time of the California Gold Rush, the first Serbian immigrants arrived from the rugged [...]

Durian

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Durian (In Work) A study of the world’s smelliest and most nutritious and dangerous fruit. Passionately loved and despised by the people of the more tropical parts of SE Asia, durians are against the law in many hotels and public transportation in Singapore and Indonesia. Scientists in Thailand are busy trying to develop a [...]

How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock in Normandy – 2014

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How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock in Normandy – 2014 Buy DVD Kanopy Educational Streaming This recent film documents Les Blank’s year 2000 visit with the legendary co-founder of Direct Cinema, Richard Leacock (1921-2011). At his farm in Normandy, France, Blank, and co-director Gina Leibrecht, recorded conversations with Leacock [...]

Butch Anthony

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Butch Anthony In Butch Anthony (working title) Les Blank brings us the life and work of self-taught, visual artist Butch Anthony, who hails from the small town of Seale in Southeastern Alabama. Butch is a rare individual with a unique ability to see the potential in objects that others take for granted. He is considered one [...]

Burden of Dreams (1982)

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Burden of Dreams (1982) Buy Criterion Remastered DVD for Home Use Buy Spanish DVD - Home Or Educational Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion Kanopy Educational Streaming Alexander Street Educational Streaming An extraordinary feature-length documentary about the messianic German director [...]

Always For Pleasure (1978)

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Always For Pleasure (1978) Buy DVD For Home Use Buy Box Set For Home Use* * Box Set contains 14 Les Blank films remastered by Criterion (average price $6.25 per film!) Kanopy Educational Streaming Alexander Street Educational Streaming Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon [...]

Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980)

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Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980) Buy DVD For Home Use Kanopy Edu Streaming Alexander Street Edu Streaming Note: For educational sales, public performance, and nontheatrical rights, please contact Jon Mulvaney at Criterion.   A zesty paean of praise to the greater glories of garlic. This lip-smacking foray into [...]

All In This Tea (2007)

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All In This Tea (2007) Buy DVD (Home Or Educational Use) Kanopy Educational Streaming Alexander Street Educational Streaming This film follows world-renowned tea expert David Lee Hoffman to remote regions of China in search of the best handmade teas in existence. As a tea importer, Hoffman’s obsession with this ancient [...]

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