Photo by Ed Dupras

Photo by Ed Dupras

Les Blank: A Quiet Revelation


A feature-length documentary about the life and work of the acclaimed filmmaker Les Blank. 

Since the early 1960s, Les Blank has documented the lives of people living on the periphery of American society; he made some of the earliest films ever on Cajuns and Texas blues musicians. He is also known for following the unmitigated passions of artists and filmmakers who give their soul to their craft, like filmmaker Werner Herzog and restaurateur Alice Waters. His films are not only documents which serve as a preservation of American subcultures, but a celebration of their food, music, and way of being. His intimate, non-didactic style broke new ground in non-fiction film making and, by expanding the notion of what one can make a film about, he inspired generations of filmmakers that followed.

Combining a cinema verite style of Blank’s current life with archival footage, still photographs, anecdotes from those who have known him, as well as clips and never-before-seen out takes from his films, the filmmakers will illustrate the enigmatic and sometimes foibled journey of the artist’s life, complete with life changing mistakes and accidental inspirations. As Blank discovered the language of film, he discovered his own deep, inner values and became who HE really was - the Les Blank whose religion was the beauty of individual expression and the spiritual liberation found in creativity. This film will reveal the creative force behind this legendary filmmaker and the way in which he used film not as an end, but a means to express those things which he loved most about the world — all the while preserving this national treasure’s legacy for generations to come.

This film is sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society.

WINNER! 2015 Zaentz Media Award

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