Monday, January 11, 2016

How To Smell A Rose: A Visit With Ricky Leacock In Normandy

The life and career of documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock is examined in this documentary.

Watching over him as he chops endives, arranges cheese on a board, prepares a cassoulet, and stuffs lamb with garlic, fellow documentarian Les Blank films Leacock discussing the films he was involved in, and the spontaneity of film making. Leacock's fascination with the magic captured in tiny scenes of real people doing real things, is illustrated with footage of a woman exercising a white pony while driving a motorized cart, a city bus unable to make a tight turn because of a parked motorcycle, and Japanese tourists attempting to use a payphone.

He also worked with D. A. Pennebaker and the Maysles brothers, invented a portable synch-sound camera, and believed that film would eventually be made by amateurs.

The footage of cooking cuts through the dryness of the rest of the film, and brief clips of films including The Louisiana Story and Monterey Pop help illuminate a quiet director/photographer. It's an interesting tribute to both late film-makers.

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