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USA, 1989 (MIFF 1989)

Director: Les Blank, Chris Strachwitz

Several films have been made on , the infectious Cajun and Zydeco music of South West Louisiana (including Spend It All, Hot Pepper and Dry Wood by Les Blank), but until now, none has tackled the task of putting the most important musicians of the past and present into a historical context. We're delighted to present the first screening outside the US of Les Blank's newly completed film, sure to be the definitive 'Cajun' film for years to come.

Les Blank and record producer Chris Strachwitz, whose love affairs with French Louisianna's music date back more than 25 years, collaborate on this new film for the first time since their successful Chuies Fronterfls and Del Maro Corazon which celebrate the Tex-Mex (Norteno) music of Mexican-American border. Blank and Strachwitz present history with a heart, drawing from interviews, live performance, stills, historical footage and anecdotes to create a lyrical telling of Cajun and Zydeco music in the 20th century. It includes exciting footage of current hot stars of the French Louisiana scene: Wayne Toups, Cajun Gold, Queen Ida, Rockin' Sidney and Beausoleil, plus rare footage of the late, great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, and classic favorites such as D. L. Menard, Canray Fontenot, Bois Sec Ardoin, The Balfa Brothers, Marc Savoy, and Dennis McGee. The film is loosely narrated by musician Michael Doucet of Beausoleil and folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet.

Historical segments created from still photos and interviews deal with early recording artists Joe &. Cleoma Falcon, Iry Lejeune, Amede Ardoin, Leo Soileau, Harry Choates and Belton Richard. The film also features rare film and video footage of The Balfa Brothers, Nathan Abshire and Clifton.

See also...

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As versatile an ethno-musicologist as Mr Blank is, his approach to his material involves at least as much warmth as scholarship. The music, as depicted here, becomes a natural unfiltered reflection ... More »


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