Blu-ray, DVD Release: Les Blank: Always for Pleasure

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Nov. 25, 2014
Price: DVD $124.95, Blu-ray $124.95
Studio: Criterion


An uncompromisingly independent filmmaker, Les Blank (Burden of Dreams) made documentaries for nearly fifty years, elegantly disappearing with his camera into cultural spots rarely seen on-screen—mostly on the peripheries of the United States, but also occasionally abroad.

The collector’s set Les Blank: Always for Pleasure provides a diverse survey of Blank’s vast output.

Gap Toothed Women

Gap Toothed Women, a 1987 film by Les Blank

The collection provides a diverse survey of the late filmmaker’s vast output, including the warmly funny The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins, about the legendary Texas musician; Always for Pleasure, which captures the vivacious spirit of New Orleans; Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers, a hilarious celebration of the pungent, flavorful “stinking rose” of the title; and eleven other unexpected features, plus eight of Blank’s short films.

Seemingly off-the-cuff yet poetically constructed, these films are humane, sometimes wry, always engaging tributes to musicians, food, and all sorts of regionally specific delights.

Here’s a complete list of the film in the collection: The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968); God Respects Us When We Work, but Loves Us When We Dance (1968); Spend It All (1971); A Well Spent Life (1971); Dry Wood (1973); Hot Pepper (1973); Always for Pleasure (1978); Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980); Sprout Wings and Fly (1983); In Heaven There Is No Beer? (1984); Gap-Toothed Women (1987); Yum, Yum, Yum (1990); The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists (1994); Sworn to the Drum (1995)

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD editions of the the collection include the following:

• New 2K digital restorations of all fourteen films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
• Excerpt from Les Blank: A Quiet Revelation, an upcoming documentary by Gina Leibrecht
• New interviews with director Les Blank’s sons, Harrod and Beau; Blank documentary subject Gerald Gaxiola (a.k.a. the Maestro); filmmakers Skip Gerson, Maureen Gosling, Taylor Hackford, Tom Luddy, and Chris Simon; and chef and author Alice Waters
• Blank’s short films Lightnin’ Les (1968), Mr. Charlie, Your Rollin’ Mill Is Burnin’ Down (1968), The Sun’s Gonna Shine (1968), More Fess (1978), Julie: Old Time Tales of the Blue Ridge (1991), My Old Fiddle: A Visit with Tommy Jarrell in the Blue Ridge (1995), and The Maestro Rides Again (2005)
• An essay by film scholar Andrew Horton

 

 

Buy or Rent Les Blank: Always for Pleasure
Amazon graphic
DVD | Blu-ray
DVD Empire graphicMovies Unlimited graphicDVD | Blu-rayNetflix graphic

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.