A Poem Is a Naked Person: Les Blank’s Docu of Musician Leon Russell

Les Blank (better known for Burden of Dreams) considered A Poem Is a Naked Person, a free-form documentary about singer-songwriter Leon Russell, to be one of his greatest accomplishments.

Though shot between 1972 and 1974, this feature has not been theatrically released for decades.

Hired by Russell to make a film about Leon Russell at his recording studio in northeast Oklahoma, Blank ended up constructing a unique, intimate portrait of a musician and his environment.

The docu is made up of scenes of Russell and his band performing, both in concert and in the studio, as well as off-the-cuff moments behind the scenes, this singular film.

It also features performances by Willie Nelson and George Jones

A Poem Is a Naked Person has attained legendary status over the years.

It serves as testament to Blank’s cinematic daring and Russell’s immense musical talents.


  • New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by executive producer Harrod Blank, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with Harrod Blank, musician Leon Russell, assistant editor Maureen Gosling, and artist Jim Franklin
  • Behind-the-scenes material, shot and edited by Gosling
  • Trailers


Running time: 90 minutes