DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

A WELL SPENT LIFE (director/writer: Les Blank; cinematographer: Les Blank; editor: Les Blank; cast: Mance Lipscomb; Runtime: 44; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Les Blank; Janus; 1972)

"A moving tribute to the 75-year-old black Texas sharecropper and great blues singer, Mance Lipscomb."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A moving tribute to the 75-year-old black Texas sharecropper and great blues singer, Mance Lipscomb (1895-1976), discovered at age 65. Mance recorded his first album in 1960, Texas Songster. Many critics consider him to be the  greatest blues guitarist.

The Les Blank ("In Heaven There Is No Beer?"/"A Poem is a Naked Person"/"All In This Tea") film not only captures the humble man's music in songs such as "Sugar Babe" and "Shine on Harvest Moon", but shows him on his rural Texas farm interacting with his wife and neighbors, offering his wisdom on leading a quiet and respectful life, and we see Mance assisting at a baptism. Though becoming internationally famous late in life, the good guy blues star continued living the simple life on his rural farm.

Mance tells us he dreams of a world in which young black and white people cooperate to share the land and resources.

REVIEWED ON 8/2/2015       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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