A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON (director/writer: Les Blank; cinematographer: Les Blank; editor: Les Blank; cast: Leon Russell, George Jones, Willie Nelson, David Briggs, Patrick Henderson, Mary McCreary, Eric Andersen, Jim Franklin, Charlie McCoy, Billy Byrd, Ambrose Campbell, “Sweet” Mary Egan, Malissa Bates; Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Denny Cordell, Leon Russell; Janus; 1974)

"A most entertaining rocker film in a true psychedelic playful sense."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The first feature of Les Blank ("Burden of Dreams"/"All in the Tea"/"In Heaven There is No Beer?") was this excellent free-wheeling documentary on the colorful and enigmatic rocker Leon Russell. The time capsule film follows Russell, the writer singer of Delta Lady and A Song for You, and his band in his recording studio in northeast Oklahoma and live in concert. Also highlighted are fellow singers like Willie Nelson.

Supposedly Russell was unhappy that most of the film focused on fellow musicians, local color and scenery, and not him. As film producer, Russell had the power to block its release and did so. But the long lost film was recently released in 2015 on DVD by Criterion and stirred up positive memories. The rock film doc was shot between 1972 and 1974. There was great music, splendid odd moments, great sunsets and a most entertaining rocker film in a true psychedelic playful sense.  

REVIEWED ON 4/6/2016       GRADE: A-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"