Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Which came first: Music or Whiskey?

Sprout Wings and Fly (1984) - Blank
sproutwingsandfly 1
A clip from Sprout Wings and Fly:
Les Blank features fiddler Tommy Jarrell of the Appalachian mountains in North Carolina. It takes some time to understand what he's saying. Once you settle in though, Sprout Wings and Fly is filled with fascinating stories- there is Austin who got drunk and fell asleep on the road and got ran over by a truck, there is a family dining table thick with table clothes on top of each other, dating back to 1937- when Cuba was celebrating better times by eating bread and there's lots and lots stories involving whiskey. Some of them should sound a little sad or downright grotesque, but they don't in Jarrell's words. The mountain folks in this doc, including Jarrell are always upbeat and funny. Again, Blank and Co. document and revive Americana that predates white hipsterism by 40 years and still come across as authentic and sincere in every way. A beautiful doc. So when is Criterion gonna put out Les Blank collection?