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THE MAESTRO: KING OF THE COWBOY ARTISTS

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...

IN HEAVEN THERE IS NO BEER?

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 »

ZIVELI: MEDICINE FOR THE HEART

... ... 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 »

Julie: Old Time Tales of Blue Ridge

The star of Julie is Julie Jarrell Lyons, who was born in 1903 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In telling the stories of her life, Julie evokes in an inimitable way a world gone by ... More »

Sworn to the Drum: A Tribute to Francisco Aguabella

... ... At the start of his brand-new documentary on master Afro-Cuban drummer and composer Francisco Aguabeila, Les Blank throws us right into the heat and passion of a 1985 Aguabeila gig at Cesar's ... More »

Yum, Yum, Yum!: A Taste of Cajun & Creole Cooking of Louisiana

Les Blank marries his obsession with spicy, down home food and his fascination for the Cajuns and Creoles of Southern Louisiana, to create this mouth watering exploration into the cooking and culture ... More »

Sprout Wings and Fly

There are no naked women in Les Blank's film, but the music is equally good. It is a touching tribute to Appalachian culture in the form of a profile of the legendary mountain fiddler, Tommy Jarrell ... More »

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