Previously at the ICA - Films
15 Oct 2015
BFI London Film Festival: 238 films. From 71 countries. 16 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
All films are time capsules, documentaries especially so. But when a film has been unseen for four decades, the effect is magnified and often mesmerising. Between 1972-74, Les Blank spent time with musician Leon Russell, filming hours of live performances and interviews, both in his studio in Oklahoma and at a raucous live show.
Due to creative differences and legal issues, Blank’s debut feature barely saw the light of a projector. Now his son Harrod has been able to oversee a glorious restoration of the film, with the blessing of Russell. Blank captures the phenomenally talented musician/performer in all his pomp – the camera unusually close-up and intimate.
But the music is only half the story, as Blank’s eye also meanders beyond his subject to take in a series of free-wheeling interludes that paint a picture of the Oklahoma community and psychedelic times of a now vanished world. Stuart Brown Film restoration in 2015 by Harrod Blank, Anthony Matt, Eugene Lehnert, Eric Alvarado, Kevin Wilson, Alex Berman, and Jack Rizzo at Prime Focus NY. Produced by Les Blank Films.
A Poem is a Naked Person, dir. Les Blank, USA 1974, 90mins