Fort Greene

BAMcinématek to present ‘Les Blank’: A documentary retrospective

August 18, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“Les Blank,” a 17-film retrospective, will screen at BAM from Sept. 2 through 10. Images courtesy of Flower Films/Photofest.

From Tuesday, Sept. 2 through Sept. 10, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) BAMcinématek will present “Les Blank,” a 17-film retrospective of the legendary documentarian and frequent Werner Herzog collaborator. After the screening of Blank films in Brooklyn Bridge Park in June, BAM is bringing back the non-fiction filmmaker’s masterpieces.

An inimitable ethnographer of offbeat and unknown Americana, the late Les Blank (1935-2013) chronicled the music, food and rituals of regional micro-cultures. From odes to garlic and gap-toothed women, to intimate portraits of blues and folk music legends, to broadcasts from the wacky world of Werner Herzog, Blank’s films are joyous celebrations of folk traditions and larger-than-life personalities.

Fascinated with the vibrant culture of New Orleans and beyond, Blank made a number of films paying homage to Cajun food and music. Opening the series on Sept. 2 is a double feature on life in the Louisiana Delta: the Zydeco-infused “Dry Wood” (1973), exploring the traditions of Mardi Gras and Creole cooking, with “Spend it All” (1971), featuring Cajun musicians the Balfa Brothers, Marc Savoy and Nathan Abshire.

For the full schedule of films included in the retrospective, and for ticket information, see bam.org.  

 

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