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R.I.P. Les Blank (1935-2013): Watch His Docs 'Burden Of Dreams,' 'Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe' & More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 7, 2013 4:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Les Blank
The myriad stories of venerable filmmaker Werner Herzog are mythic, and he's often considered a living legend. He was shot with an air rifle during an interview and brushed it off. He pulled a man out of car wreckage on a canyon road above Sunset Blvd. and it turned out to be Joaquin Phoenix. But the early legends of Herzog and his cinematic exploits crystallized largely thanks to documentarian Les Blank. The filmmaker captured the short film, “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe” in 1979 -- Herzog lost a bet to then-fledgling filmmaker Errol Morris who he ventured would never make a movie -- and then later directed and shot the astounding doc, "Burden Of Dreams" (1982), about the chaotic production Herzog's "Fitzcarraldo," filmed in the jungles of South America in the same year. Known for his idiosyncratic documentaries about the eccentric, sadly, the New York Times reports this afternoon that Blank died today at the age of 77 at his home in Berkeley, California.

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