Seems that Washington DC is just awakening to the fact that the great documentary filmmaker is in the nation’s capital this week. Les Blank: Living in Film on Thursday night was followed by a screening of his film Sworn to the Drum at the Smithsonian today. Tonight’s rarely seen documentary by Les Blank – on a major rock star of the 70s, described by the Washington Post “The best film ever made on rock.” (1974/90 mins./USA) sold out quickly following yesterday’s Washington Post article. The DC Independent Film Festival has responded by adding an extra screening of the film at noon, Saturday March 3rd. Same venue. Tickets at the festival website or directly at brownpapertickets.com.
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Les Blank, guest of honor a this year’s DC Independent Film Festival is not too concerned about how long a film is. While television has encouraged films to fit into an exact programming format, independent film eschews such narrow confines. Perhaps the most intriguing film length is the 20 minutes Les Blank dedicated to Werner Herzog eating his shoe. Herzog promised to eat his shoe if a certain young American film student went out and actually made the film he was always only talking about. The young student was Errol Morris, who met the challenge with his off-beat 1978 pet cemetery documentary Gates of Heaven (and went on to make The Thin Blue Line and Fast, Cheap and Out of Control ). Les Blank then made the film of Herzog eating his shoe.
Come meet Les Blank and learn about his life through film at the DC Independent Film Festival 2012, March 1st.