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HOW TO SMELL A ROSE

How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock in Normandy is a one-hour film in which Les Blank visits Richard Leacock in France. Conversations between the two legendary filmmakers, who have both passed away, explore Leacock’s life and work as a charismatic and trailblazing documentary filmmaker and co-founder of America’s Cinema Verité movement, which forever changed the way non-fiction films are made. Before the early 1960s the standard way of making films was with heavy and cumbersome equipment­ that limited the access the filmmakers had to their subjects. Leacock’s innovations and approach became instrumental in creating a new form of documenting events on film by abandoning these impediments. His quest was to create “the feeling of being there.” Over meals and walks in the French countryside, Leacock shares with Blank the memorable moments of his filmmaking career and the extraordinary people he met along the way. Clips from Ricky’s films and Ricky’s talent as raconteur bring to life the magic moments that changed filmmaking forever.

A film by Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht.