A look at the spirit of New Orleans. First a funeral: Allen Toussaint explains that you arrive slow and cut up afterwards. Then it's food, with a lesson in eating crayfish at Frankie and ... See full summary »
Blue Lu Barker,
Henry 'Professor Longhair' Byrd,
Documentary about noted Zydeco artist Clifton Chenier. Based out of New Orleans, Chenier was the self-crowned "King" of Zydeco (a New Orleans musical hybrid containing elements of blues, ... See full summary »
Felix James Benit,
This documentary from Les Blank follows the indomitable Gerald "The Maestro" Gaxiola, who turned to a life of prolific art making after years as an aircraft mechanic, traveling salesman, and body builder.
Peter William Brown,
"Les Blank marries his passion for spicy, down home food and his love for Cajuns and Creoles in this mouth-watering, exploration of the cooking, and other enthusiasms, of French-speaking ... See full summary »
Often referred to as a stinking rose, garlic, in its culinary uses, generally evokes a love it or hate it response. Quite often, these responses are on cultural lines, where old world cultures have generally revered it in their cooking, while new world cultures have not. A renaissance of sorts is taking place in the use of garlic in the United States, with more and more immigrants bringing their use of the spice to the country, with more people desiring more spice in their food, with a desire to get back to the land and with the production of plant a large part of the Central California landscape. Many chefs are presented preparing dishes prominently featuring the spice. On the bad side, the association of garlic to bad breath is discussed. On the other side, its purported health benefits are also discussed. Other topics presented include its association to vampirism, and speculation of how people will want their garlic to be presented to them in the future.Written by
A documentary on the history of garlic. Les Blank interviews chefs, garlic lovers, and historians about the their love of the 'stinking rose.' The director recommends that, when the film is shown, a toaster oven containing several heads of garlic be turned on in the rear of the theater, unbeknownst to the audience, with the intended result that approximately halfway through the showing the entire theater will be filled with the smell of garlic.
Les Blank is an interesting character. I think his finest work is when he went around America, collecting the sounds of various regions. Much of what he caught on film was groundbreaking, and the natural environments he found may no longer exist. His exploration of garlic is far less important, but interesting in a sort of offbeat way. It's amusing that he even managed to get Werner Herzog to talk about the lack of garlic in "Nosferatu".
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