by Laura Hutson
Exciting news for fans of the late, great Les Blank and the ethnographic, folkloric, and generally underexposed cabinet of curiosities he documented throughout his prolific career: Fort Houston and the Nashville Folk + Free Skool are presenting a handful of Blank's films on 16mm prints throughout the month of October.
The screenings start at 7 p.m. tonight at Fort Houston, where the short films Sun's Gonna Shine and The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins will screen followed by a post-film Q&A with Southern studies scholar Evan Hatch of Murfreesboro and musician/theologian Dave Perkins of Vanderbilt Divinity School. A donation of $5 is suggested.
Information on the Oct. 16 & 23 screenings after the jump:
• Wednesday, October 16th
DRY WOOD (1973, 37 min.)
"A fascinating look at black Creole life in French Louisiana, held together by the wild, insistent music of Bois-Sec Ardoin and Canray Fontenot."
HOT PEPPER (1973, 54 min.)
"Thrilling musical portrait of Zydeco King Clifton Chenier, who combines the pulsating rhythms of Cajun dance music and black R&B with African overtones, belting out his irresistible music in the sweaty juke joints of South Louisiana."
Post-film Q+A with archivist John Fabke of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music and Nashville music journalist Ron Wynn.
• Wednesday, October 23rd
SPEND IT ALL (1971, 41 min.)
"A rich portrayal of the lives and music of the French-speaking Cajuns of Louisiana, featuring the Balfa Brothers, Marc Savoy and Nathan Abshire."
A WELL SPENT LIFE (1972, 44 min.)
"First discovered in 1960, Texas blues musician and songster Mance Lipscomb spent most of his life working as a sharecropper. Filmed in his hometown of Navasota, Lipscomb recounts stories of his life and plays his music."
Post-film Q+A with blues scholar and guitarist Jake Fussell of Oxford, Miss.