Film

The Blues Accordin' to Les Blank

 
 
Thu, Aug 1, 2013
  • 7:30PM
 
LOCATION:
Peter Jay Sharp Building
 
BAM Rose Cinemas
RUN TIME: 85min
RATED: NR
GENERAL ADMISSION: $13
CINEMA CLUB MEMBERS: $8
STUDENTS/SENIORS:  $9 (29 and under with a valid ID, Mon—Thu)
 
+  Appearances by Harrod Blank and Mark Toscano
 
 
 
 
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Thursday August 01, 2013
Performances no longer available.
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Presented in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Directed by Les Blank
“In a career spanning forty-plus years of almost continuous work, the filmmaker Les Blank has developed one of the more astonishing bodies of work in American film, most of it completely under-the-radar.”
—BOMB
Idiosyncratic ethnographer of the offbeat and unknown, documentarian Les Blank passed away in April at age 77. In over 40 docu-essays he explored subterranean micro-cultures (Cajuns, gaptoothed women); the outlandish exploits of fellow filmmaker Werner Herzog; food (including a hymn to garlic); and, a subject especially near and dear to him, music and musicians.

We pay tribute to his legacy with a special screening of three of his most beloved blues films, all newly restored.
In collaboration with:
 
The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968)

RUN TIME: 31min

 

Lightnin’ Hopkins was a renowned Texas bluesman. With remarkable intimacy, Blank captures his music and musings (“The blues is just a funny feelin’, yet people call it a mighty bad disease”) in this celebration of a legend that doubles as a portrait of the people and culture of Houston, TX—captured vividly at a BBQ and an all-black rodeo.

 
The Sun’s Gonna Shine (1969)

RUN TIME: 10min

 

Alan Lomax called Blank’s stunning and elegiac short on Hopkins' reminiscences of his youth “one of the three most important films on the South.”

 
 
 
A Well Spent Life (1971)

RUN TIME: 44min

 

Texas sharecropper turned blues guitar great Mance Lipscomb recounts his remarkable life story in one of Blank’s most moving documentaries (and Kurt Vonnegut’s favorite movie). Filmed when the legend was well into his 70s (he didn’t release his first album until age 65), A Well Spent Life captures a remarkably sweet soul who was one of the most revered songsters of all time.

 
 
 
Related Content
Talks 
Special appearances 
 
Screening will features in person appearances by Harrod Blank (son of Les Blank) and Mark Toscano (preservationist, Academy Film Archive).
FILM 
Salutes to Les Blank 
 
Additional Les Blank programs at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International on July 30 and the Museum of the Moving Image on August 2.
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