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Mon, Jan 8 at 8:00pm


  • Dir. Les Blank
  • USA
  • 1971
  • 90 min.
  • NR
  • 4K DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop
Mon, Jan 8 at 8:00pm: Introduction from musician and Belcourt staff member Domo | BUY TICKETS

Part of Music City Mondays and Staff Picks and programmed by Ryan, who says “A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON, Les Blank’s portrait of Leon Russell shot from ‘72-’74 is second to none in capturing the true essence of being a working musician. Sometimes you’re the snake, and sometimes you’re just a baby chicken! I’m thrilled it’s making its triumphant return to the Belcourt — its first since 2015, when Leon and Harrod Blank were in attendance. Come immerse yourself in this special Music City Monday/Staff Pick/Domo B-Day experience — one night only!

An ineffable mix of unbridled joy and vérité realism, A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON presents the beloved singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell as filmed by documentarian Les Blank between 1972 and 1974. Blank’s camera lets us into the world of Russell and his friends and fellow artists in and around his recording studio in Northeast Oklahoma (as well as scenes filmed locally at Bradley’s Barn)—capturing intimate, off-the-cuff moments and combining them with mesmerizing scenes of Russell and his band performing live.

“Les Blank’s long-unseen documentary about rock and roots legend Leon Russell shot in 1972-74 — so long ago that Willie Nelson appears beardless and Blank has died — is here at last. And what a trippy delight it is…. This is as accessible and as lovable as avant-garde filmmaking ever gets.” —Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post (Jun 30, 2015)

“Whiskery and restless, grooving and grotesque, the documentarian Les Blank’s long-suppressed film A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON plays like your memories of some mad, stoned last-century summer. Commissioned by the boogie-woogie piano bluesman Leon Russell, who is more this roaming doc’s fitful center of gravity than its star….” —Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice (Jul 1, 2015)

“A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON is such an exuberantly full-of-life time capsule that its musical interludes feel almost peripheral.” —Carson Lund, Slant

See the Official Website