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Les Blank, Nov. 27, 1935-April 7, 2013

Documentary filmmaker Les Blank–many of whose films had musical subjects–died on April 7. Here is Blank’s Wikipedia entry.

The film-maker Les Blank, who has died aged 77, explored the margins of America’s music, capturing and framing idioms such as Louisiana Cajun and zydeco, the norteño music of the Texas-Mexico border, blues, polka, and Appalachian old-time music. He was also fascinated by traditions of eating and cookery, and when screening his film Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980) he sometimes created what he called “smellovision” by cooking garlicky dishes in the auditorium. (Continue Reading…)

Above is what appears to be the promotional piece for the film Sprout Wings and Fly. The top comment is a description from Michael Goodwin of Berkeley Monthly: 

“Sprout Wings and Fly” is a compassionate, life-affirming, altogether extraordinary document by Les Blank (www.lesblank.com) on old-timey Appalachian fiddler Tommy Jarrell. It’s a fascinating film on the theme that art, music, dance, food and earthly pleasures help human beings live joyously in the face of certain death. It offers fine old-timey music, crazy jive, and a fascinating cast of backwoods characters.

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