“I think he’s a national treasure.”
Director Taylor Hackford on Les Blank
“As his work testifies, [Les]Blank has made a fine art out of making a personal connection with diverse people. He works through the lens, behind the camera, never drawing attention to himself. He makes friends with his subjects, spends weeks with them and acknowledges their dignity.”
A Well-Spent Life
DGA Quarterly/Spring 2013 Betsy Mclane
When Les Blank died last month he left behind a 50-year library of documentary films. Many of which gave an unusual glimpse into life in the United States. Roger Ebert called him, “A brilliant filmmaker,” he received a Special Jury Award at Sundance one year, and received a lifetime achievement award from AFI.
In the post Les Blank’s start, I found a quote where he said in an interview, “When I got out of film school, I had a hard time getting into the show business end of the media in Hollywood. I wasn’t a very good fit.” I’m not sure how many of his classmates went on to have a career in Hollywood, but I imagine Blank is the only one who had a filmmaking career than spanned five decades.