Chicago Film Society Presents Always For Pleasure

Directed by: Les Blank


Directed by Les Blank, 1978

As the title suggests, Les Blank’s Always for Pleasure, a loving portrait of New Orleans street life during Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest, is an exercise in the total joy of being alive, punctuated by the most life-affirming funeral you’ve ever seen on film, and with more color and joy in its opening credits than most films have in their entire runtimes. Collaborating with New Orleans jazz photographer Michael P. Smith to gain access to local musicians and locations, Blank captured live performances from Professor Longhair, The Wild Tchoupitoulas, the Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, and Kid Thomas Valentine — but the real star of the show is the Big Easy itself, sweating and dancing in the streets. A filmmaker who was interested in everything and notoriously reluctant to set his camera down for fear of missing something, Blank also perfected the art of capturing food on film without making it seem gross — among Always for Pleasure’s many wonderful diversions is a lesson on how to eat crawfish at Frankie and Johnny's. (JA)
58 min, Les Blank Films, 16mm from Les Blank Films
Short: “Dizzy Gillespie” (Les Blank, 1964) - 20 min - 16mm
Presented with the Jazz Institute of Chicago as part of JIC's 50th Anniversary
Chicago Filmmakers
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