A Poem is a Naked Person

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.

Genres: Documentary

Other Films by Les Blank

Always for Pleasure

The vibrancy of New Orleans’ cultural life in the late 1970s shines through in Blank’s characteristically freewheeling, fun, yet incisive documentary portrait of the city. Featuring interviews and performance footage with prominent New Orleanian musicians including Professor Longhair, Irma Thomas, the Neville Brothers, Kid Thomas Valentine, and Allen Toussaint among others, Blank weaves a tapestry

Other Films by Maureen Gosling

This Ain’t No Mouse Music!

As a teenager in 1947, Chris Strachwitz migrated from Germany to the United States, where he saw a film that would change his life forever: NEW ORLEANS, starring Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. Since then, his life has been a relentless quest to track down and record the best of American folk music roots—New Orleans

This Ain’t No Mouse Music!

VISITING ARTISTS—As a teenager in 1947, Chris Strachwitz migrated from Germany to the United States, where he saw a film that would change his life forever: NEW ORLEANS, starring Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. Since then, his life has been a relentless quest to track down and record the best of American folk music roots—New