RIP Leon Russell

Werner Herzog on Les Blank’s Spend It All

Werner Herzog on Les Blank

Drywood — Les Blank

RIP Filmmaker Les Blank


RIP filmmaker Les Blank, 1935-2013.

Les Blank served as director and cinematographer of dozens of films, mostly documentaries. He’s probably most famous for his 1982 film Burden of Dreams, which chronicles Werner Herzog struggling against nature and humanity alike to make Fitzcarraldo. For me, the two films are inseparable. Here is Blank talking about making that film:

(Les Blank also made Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe).

Blank was also famous for documenting blues, jazz, folk, and other types of roots music in a naturalistic, earthy fashion.

He also loved gap toothed women:


Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe

Eleven Excellent Films About Films and Film-making

Eleven Excellent Films About Films and Film-making 

1. Hearts of Darkness, Eleanor Coppola, et al

2. Lost in La Mancha, Keith Fulton et al

3. Burden of Dreams, Les Blank

4. Adaptation, Spike Jonze

5. Be Kind Rewind, Michel Gondry

6. The Player, Robert Altman

7. Ed Wood, Tim Burton

8. Stardust Memories, Woody Allen

9. Sullivan’s Travels, Preston Sturges

10. American Movie, Chris Smith

11. Barton Fink, Coen Brothers