LES BLANK - RETROSPECTIVE
14-23 October SYDNEY & 4 DECEMBER CANBERRA
Antenna is exited to partner with the National Film & Sound Archive (NFSA), to present a retrospective of maverick ‘auteur’ documentary filmmaker Les Blank which was presented as part of the 2022 festival.
An uncompromisingly independent filmmaker, Les Blank 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. Seemingly off-the-cuff, yet poetically constructed, these films are humane, sometimes wry, always engaging tributes to music, food, and all sorts of regionally specific delights. Their immersive portraits of community come off as simultaneously naive and wise, evocations of worlds that were and could be. The films selected for this retrospective cover the major themes of Les Blank’s career — filmmaking, folk music, food, and festivals.
Les Blank Retrospective is made possible thanks to the Embassy of the United States in Australia.
4 December – arc cinema – Canberra
SESSION ONE – 1:00PM
A WELL SPENT LIFE (1971, 44min)
SESSION TWO - 4:00pm
A zesty paean of praise to the great glories of garlic, this lip-smacking foray into the history, consumption, cultivation and powers both culinary and curative of the stinking rose, features chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, and a flavorful musical soundtrack. Lovingly photographed, it’s an odyssey of garlic feasts and interviews with afficionados. Promoting garlic as the first line of defense against blandness, it titillates the taste buds with shots of sizzling dishes.
BURDEN OF DREAMS - 6:30pm
BURDEN OF DREAMS (1982, 95min)
The Amazon rain forest, 1979. The crew of Fitzcarraldo (1982), a film directed by German director Werner Herzog, soon finds itself with problems related to casting, tribal struggles and accidents, among many other setbacks; but nothing compared to dragging a huge steamboat up a mountain, while Herzog embraces the path of a certain madness to make his vision come true.