A Poem Is a Naked Person (1974) Poster

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Directed by {Blank}
Scott5 October 2008
For those of you fortunate enough to have been in a situation where Les Blank personally showed his private copy of this film to a group of non-profits, you might get the title joke. Easily Les's least seen film for legal reasons, it is nevertheless one of his best. The film documents the recording period of musician Leon Russell in his Oklahoma recording studio from 1972-1974. The film alternates between vignettes of Leon at his sprawling studio, such as the painting of the mural in his pool, and scenes of local Oklahoma flair, like the great goose flight. While oftentimes it features persons who seem to be there to do nothing but lounge and generally disagree, there are those moments when Leon and his crew actually play music, and those moments are wonderful. It's a shame that Leon refuses to release this film, because it exists as a document of a person in a time that can't be gotten back, yet must be understood. Les is an aging man who may never show his film again so if you come across a situation where it will be shown, go out of your way to see it.
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The best rock and roll film ever made
John Mazza24 April 2013
This film is incredibly rare, and if you get the chance, you must see it. Les Blank screened this film to private audiences only, and now that he has passed away, who knows if it will ever be screened again. Les told me that he was waiting to see who died first, him or Leon, and if Leon died first Les would release the film. Les Blank and Leon Russell are both geniuses in their own regards, and I hope one day the rest of the world gets to see the magnificence of this masterful work of art. From time to time, a film comes along that changes the way we look at a specific object, idea, or person; this film does all three. Some of the images and sounds in this film have been burned into my mind forever, and I would love the opportunity to view this film again. Leon's work was, and still is, amazing, and this film showcases a part of his life that exhibits the true essence of rock and roll.
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Long overdue Les Blank masterpiece finally available in 2015...
autonomy16-122 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON IS A MASTERPIECE. So yeah, for a lot of us Les Blank fans we've been waiting a long time to see this one. And on July 9, 2015 a few of us got the chance to watch the San Francisco premiere (of its first official run) with living legend Leon Russell, not only there in person for post film talk, but he rolled in (literally) to his seat and watched the whole thing all the way through with us. Whoa! Y'see Leon Russell just came around recently and agreed to release the damn film (after 40 years) and as of that night, he's still not sure it was a good idea. Commenting toward Les' unmistakable style Leon remarked, "less of Jim Franklin's feet and more of George Jones' singing woulda been a good idea..." In Leon's defense, they probably are the ugliest feet featured in a motion picture. But that's besides the point. Les and his crew got to live on Russell's compound in Oklahoma for nearly 2 years and what they captured was not only Leon and a crazy revolving door of who's who in country and rock ca. 1972-3, but a plethora of LIFE just outside that door. Everyday life in and around nature and communities nearby. These images, "vignettes" or anecdotes shared here are mesmerizing, going against the traditional "rock doc". Yet mixed in with intimate concert & studio footage, the vibe is perfect and magically provides the music with ultimate power to bond the mundane or perhaps moments some of us may take for granted with the wildness of showbiz. This beautiful celluloid mix of Okie cultures, Nixon era hippie-ism, rock n roll AND THEN SOME creates a viable expression that's only partly about an artist and maybe more about his surroundings- both physical and cerebral. Which, for me, delivers a timeless trip not just about one artist, but where art and life are forever joined and celebrated with hardly any questions asked.
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Neozealot8 October 2016
It's a visual poem without any real narrative. It has a few interesting edits but ultimately feels incoherent. This kind of film can be interesting but at an hour and a half it fails to retain the viewers attention.

Your enjoyment of the film will largely depend on your endurance for this kind of film making.

It's an hour and a half of visuals and music with a few interesting moments scattered throughout that ultimately doesn't say much.

The value of this film stems largely from its rarity and not from its content.
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