Navigating the streets of New Orleans, Les Blank takes us from the vibrancy of second-line parades down backstreets to jazz funerals, pots of crawfish brewing, and the intense competition of Mardi Gras Indian troupes.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
Les Blank’s exuberant Always for Pleasure is the ultimate Beginner’s Guide to New Orleans: one heady hour of music, dance, food and fun that somehow manages to convey a huge amount of basic cultural information in a coherent manner despite its apparent free-form hedonism. New Orleans is a party town, and this is a party film that’s as enjoyable to watch as it looks to have been to shoot. Filming around Mardi Gras and St Patrick’s Day 1977, Blank and his team captured, along with the expected funerals and parades, brilliant and valuable performance footage of The Wild Tchoupitoulas (African American troupes who labour for months creating gigantic Native American-style headdresses), the Neville Brothers and the legendary Professor Longhair. Treat yourself, but be warned that you may come away from the screening with a powerful appetite for crawfish and gumbo. — AL
“There’s nothing I crave more than to percolate down the boulevard, followed by my entire residue.” — John Metoyer, late President of the Zulu Social Sid and Pleasure Club