A Poem Is a Naked Person

A Poem Is a Naked Person

Far more than a straightforward concert film, Les Blank’s lyrical, rich portrait of singer-songwriter Leon Russell engrosses its viewer in intimate moments of studio rehearsals that lead into ecstatic onstage performances for a fitting ode to this prolific, treasured Oklahoma-based musician and his surroundings. This meeting of Blank and Russell, two men who lived and breathed their respective crafts, would not be officially released until after Blank’s death in 2015, thanks to the efforts of his son Harrod to secure proper rights for distribution. This small miracle of a film emits a lingering afterglow long after the last note is sung.

DIRECTED/WRITTEN BY: Les Blank. WITH: Leon Russell, Eric Andersen, Richard V. Armstrong, Audie Ashworth. 1974. 90 min. USA. Color. English. DCP.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

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