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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.