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USA, 1994 (MIFF 1995, Documentaries)

Director: Les Blank

The latest work in documentary magician Les Blank's ongoing celebration of humanity at its most sociable and creative is this loving por­trait of an entertainer and artist provocateur who defies categorisation (a rather Blankian trait!).

For close to twenty years Gerry Gaxiola, aka The Maestro, has totally dedicated himself to art producing an astonishing array of works he refus­es to sell: among them a series of seventy-two paintings inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, over 100 ceramic Cadillacs full of cowboys on their way to a round-up in Reno, chaps hand-stitched with the faces of Wild West movie stars, a set of dazzling colour block prints and a collection of hundreds of envelopes decorated with cryptic messages to postmen and correspondents. Each year this glo­rious American original hosts Maestro Day—a joy­ous celebration of his previous years work—free to the public at the local high school. After the audience view his paintings in the foyer they adjourn to the auditorium where the Maestro takes the stage wearing a self-designed hand-sewn rhinestone cowboy outfit, shows his latest video, sings songs and does rope tricks all relat­ing to that year's artistic theme!

Enter the world of Gaxiola's artistic philoso­phy via Les Blanks own individualistic cinematic portal and experience four amazing Maestro Days. Be inspired... be very inspired!

See also...


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A fascinating and controversial look at the ill-starred production of Werner Herzog's five-years-in-the-making feature, Fitzcarraldo. Set in the jungle of Peru, Fitzcarraldois the story of a mad ... More »


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... ... Les Blank's long association with the Melbourne Film Festival ' continues with Ziveli, an anthropologtcal document on the culture and music of the Serbian-American communities of Chicago and ... More »

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