Les Blank knows how to take something small, like Garlic, and then blow it up, to explore some bigger picture. He's nailed that whole micro-macro thing we obsess over in films. The viewer is steeped in the entire human process through something as simple as garlic: alienation, acceptance, celebration, culture, mythology, you name it. This is great!
I want this entire movie tattooed all over my body. I want a big kitchen so I can make the world tons of food. I want to move to Berkeley and go to garlic festivals and sing garlic songs and wear garlic crowns. I want to hug Les Blank. (I'm slightly obsessed with garlic so this doc was a very emotional ride for me lol)
I really enjoyed the little titles Les chose to put over certain scenes, because they served so many different purposes. They could be the location of the scene, an idea about what's in the frame that Les wants to share, a joke, or a closed captioning of whats being said on screen to convey importance or irony. Also, a little taste of Werner never hurts
Blank is one of the few truly essential documentary filmmakers, and anybody aspiring to make documentaries, or to write non-fiction, needs to watch his stuff. Blank is, at least, of the same caliber as the Maysles Bros, Allan King Errol Morris, and Frederick Wiseman.
This movie was fine, but it didn't grab me as much as some of Blank's other films. Garlic is a great topic, and I love to eat and cook with garlic myself, but I found myself only mildly interested in the proceedings. Perhaps overly long?