“Kitas Kinas”, the educational film platform, continues its series of documentary film screenings “Common People” at Kaunas Artists’ House, at the core of which lie portraits of eccentrics and hermits, tender relationships and everyday social occurences, subcultures and communities, living in the margins of society. On the 27th of March, 7 pm, the platform presents the second screening of the series – “The Maestro: King of the Cowboy Artists” (dir. Les Blank, 1995).

What happens when a dedicated husband and father quits his job, adopts the persona of a Western-Movie Singing Cowboy, takes on the entire art establishment (including Christo and Andy Warhol), and refuses to accept money for his art? Meet Gerald Gaxiola, AKA The Maestro, an ex-work enthusiast who worked as aircraft mechanic, travelling salesman and body builder and who gave up everything to make art for its own sake. The Maestro’s story could inspire a whole new generation of artists.

Les Blank, best known for his documentary “Burden of Dreams” (1982) about the chaotic production of Werner Herzog‘s movie “Fitzcarraldo” (1982), has spent 40 some years making acute, incisive, documentaries about unique individuals, Louisiana culture, food, and music as his main themes. This time Les Blank indroducing an unconventional cowboy artist’s Maestro ethnography, his way of life and ideologies.

Dir. Les Blank
Documentary, USA, 1995, English, 54 mins.

Tickets and discounts: tickets cost 3 EUR (2 EUR concessions – schoolchildren, students, seniors). Tickets can be purchased on the door and at “Tiketa” sales points in person and online.
The „Common People“ screening series aims to discuss not only the content of documentary films, but also the whole notion of documentary cinema. The series will adress questions of ethics, directorial decisions. To film or not to film? When does a director cross the line of closeness with their subject? Should documentary cinema reflect ‘reality’ or the vision of its creator? These questions and others will be raised and discussed looking at films who maintain a close look at people telling their own stories: sensitive, creative, eccentric and based somewhere in the margins.