This is an extraordinary documentary that not only gives us great insight into the incredible musician known as Leon Russell but it also has a lot to say about life, love, and what music is really all about. This is a true gem from one of the greatest documentarians of all time Les Blank.
Holy freakin' cow! I was certainly curious about Blank's long not-quite-lost cultural artifact, but was not exactly expecting to come head to head w/ what is inarguably one of my favorite cinematic documents of the 1970s. Special attention needs to be allotted to how this treasure of a thing is cut. A profound and doped-up State of the Union for the ages. Like an unholy alliance of Gimme Shelter and Vernon, Florida.
It’s as ephemerally constructed as it’s strangely solidified in its sensorial and cultural representation of a specific time, place and community. Is it a bit inscrutable? Certainly, but that’s far from being a fragility, being, in fact, the film’s greatest strength, creating something akin to a fragmented half-forgotten memory of the feelings and thoughts germinated by a musical piece or even a free form poem.