Les Blank | Filmmakers on Folkstreams

Les Blank

Les Blank is a highly acclaimed independent filmmaker who, in more than three decades of documenting American folk culture, has won numerous awards for his extensive and diverse work "featuring Real Food, Roots Music, and People Full of Passion for what they do." "Blank is a documentarian of folk cultures who transforms anthropology into art," writes John Rockwell for the New York Times. In 1990 he received the American Film Institute\'s Maya Deren Award for his outstanding lifetime achievement as an independent filmmaker. Maureen Gosling, Blank\'s longtime collaborator and gifted editor, is also a prize-winning documentary filmmaker. Preceded by Spend It All (1971), Dry Wood is one of the early films in their series on rural Louisiana musicians and cooks that eventually included Hot Pepper (1973), J\'ai Eté Au Bal (1989), Yum, Yum, Yum! (1990), and Marc and Ann (1991). The filmmaker recalls Marc Savoy\'s comment that a TV broadcast of Spend It All in Lafayette in the early \'70s was pivotal in sparking interest in Cajun tradition among younger people. Savoy remarked that teenagers came into his shop the next day to buy music and instruments and were speaking Cajun French instead of the English they had always used. For more on Les Blank, Maureen Gosling, and their work, see www.lesblank.com