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Exclusive: Leon Russell Sings “Goodnight, Irene” In Clip From Les Blank’s Documentary ‘A Poem Is A Naked Person’

Exclusive: Leon Russell Sings "Goodnight, Irene" In Clip From Les Blank's Documentary 'A Poem Is A Naked Person'

Making the cut of our feature The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far, there is a piece of trivia about “A Poem Is A Naked Person” that’s important to know: the film is over forty years old. Directed by legendary filmmaker Les Blank, and remaining unreleased for decades, this snapshot of beloved musician Leon Russell is finally hitting the big screen, and today we have an exclusive clip.

READ MORE: The Essentials: 7 Films You Should Know From Acclaimed Documentarian Les Blank

Filmed between 1972 and 1974, Blank followed Russell into the studio, conducted interviews, and shot hours and hours of concert footage, rehearsals, additional material, and more. But when Russell finally saw the completed movie, he didn’t like it and decided it couldn’t be released (Blank long maintained it was his own finest movie). For years, “A Poem Is A Naked Person” could only be seen at special screenings, but now Blank’s son has finally gotten the go-ahead from Russell to release the documentary into the world. In the sequence below, you can see Leon Russell and his band going through a lovely version of the standard “Goodnight, Irene.”

“A Poem Is A Naked Person” will open on July 1st. Watch below.

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