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Directed by Les Blank, Maureen Gosling

United States 1974 90 mins. In English

Les Blank’s portrait of Leon Russell went unreleased for 40 years before hitting the screen. Russell, who also coproduced the project, wasn’t happy with the result, so questions of rights and differences of opinion meant that only a handful of people ever saw the film. Blank shot the footage between 1972 and 1974 while living on the property of Russell’s Shelter Records recording studio in northeast Oklahoma. Four decades later, the footage functions as a time machine to a lost place and time. In addition to concert and studio recordings of Russell and fellow artists Willie Nelson and George Jones, Blank observes the scene with the intimate vérité that is the hallmark of all his films, capturing the spirit and feeling as much as the fabulous music.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.