Monday, March 22, 2010

Spend It All (1972)

Les Blank

Od autora genijalnog dokumentarca Burden of Dreams (1982), evo nešto skroz u Herzog fazonu, mada po ovom tekstu dole na engleskom pre će biti da je obrnuto, da je Herzog od njega pokupio ovaj rad. Uglavnom, to je ta estetika ruralne Amerike, u ovom slučaju država Louisiana i neki skroz veseo narod. Konjske trke, ribolov, uzgajanje duvana, klanje svinja, roštilj, D.I.Y. vađenje zuba, i brdo prejake muzike, znači, ko ceni Herzogove dokumentarce iz 70-ih i 80-ih, svideće mu se i ovo provereno. (43 min)


"Independent filmmaker-cum-cultural anthropologist Les Blank has made his career out of documenting marginalized regional American subcultures. In Spend It All, he focuses his lens on Southwest Louisiana, specifically the Cajuns, a fun-loving people descended from French colonists in Canada, then known as Acadia. The film sets up the history of these people in the beginning, following an exuberant montage set to vital Cajun music. Music figures prominently into the lives of these men and is part and parcel of the philosophy behind the Cajun lifestyle: Work hard, earn your money and then spend it all having fun. The film does contain a notorious scene that is worth the price of admission. An excruciatingly self-reliant Cajun uses a pair of pliers to actually extract one of his teeth, that had, in his words, "been hurting [him] for a few days now." The scene sums up what it means to be rural and self-reliant. German filmmaker Werner Herzog was so taken by the rawness of this moment that he copied it for his 1977 film Stroszek, set largely in rural America. Blank and Herzog were close, and the documentarian gets a special thank you in the credits for Stroszek. The accents in Spend It All are sometimes impenetrable, but always fascinating and the near-constant fiddle and accordion music on the soundtrack turns an ostensibly "educational" film into a rollicking good time. Blank's movies are succinct and this is no exception. Spend It All does not overstay its welcome at 42 minutes, mainly because of the intimacy that the filmmaker achieves with his colorful and worthy subjects. Fans of this film should check out Sprout Wings and Fly and Dry Wood to complete their initiation into the world of Cajun and rural folk music."

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