Join us for our 7th annual celebration of internationally regarded documentarian LES BLANK - with a screening of his short films. From his early cinema career until the mid-eighties, Les directed six shorts covering everything from Dizzy Gillespie to the humorous horrors of modern chicken farming. With this chronological lineup, you can see his evolution as a visual storyteller and filmmaker. Presented by Portland film curator Greg Hamilton.
RUNNING AROUND LIKE A CHICKEN WITH ITS HEAD CUT OFF - 4 minutes - 1960
Les Blank’s first student film, starring Gail Blank, Pieter Van Deusen, and Les himself. This short pays homage to Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL, the film that inspired Blank to become a filmmaker.
DIZZY - 22 minutes - 1964
This is Blank’s earliest music film, focusing on the renowned trumpet player, Dizzy Gillespie, who along with Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Sonny Rollins, and others sparked the change from traditional jazz to “bebop” in mid-1940s America.
GOD RESPECTS US WHEN WE WORK, BUT LOVES US WHEN WE DANCE - 20 minutes - 1968
Hippies and flower children dance and create rituals at the historic Los Angeles “love-in” of Easter Sunday 1967.
THE SUN'S GONNA SHINE - 10 minutes - 1969
A lyrical recreation of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ decision at age eight to stop chopping cotton and start singing for a living.
CHICKEN REAL - 23 minutes - 1970
One of Blank’s industrial films, which follows a Holly Farms “broiler” chicken from factory incubation to the barbecue pit at a county fair.
CIGARETTE BLUES - 6 minutes - 1985
This is a microcosmic Les Blank film in which bluesman Sonny Rhodes simultaneously addresses three of the filmmaker’s longstanding obsessions: death, cigarette smoking, and the nature of the blues.
Guest passes accepted.