|Visionary Vices: The Backdoor
Screen-Gems of George Kuchar
Co-Presented by San Francisco Art Institute and LA Filmforum.
"[Kuchars films] were my first inspiration,
pivotal films of my youth, bigger influences than Warhol, Kenneth Anger, even THE WIZARD
OF OZ." John Waters
Underground legend George Kuchar began making no-budget 8mm
trash epics at the tender age of 12 with his twin brother and co-conspirator Mike. While
growing up in the Bronx, the Kuchars crafted a deliriously smutty world of cinema with
little more than wild imaginations and some borrowed lipstick. Georges first 16mm
film, "Corruption of the Damned," came at age 23 and he went on to feverishly
produce a slew of classic tales of repressed lust, questionable behavior, and Douglas
Sirk-inspired melodrama including "Hold Me While Im Naked,"
"Eclipse Of The Sun Virgin," "Unstrap Me," and many more. Celebrated
alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, and Kenneth Anger, Kuchar became a hero
for movie-makers and movie-lovers living on the fringes. In the early 70s, he began
teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he continues to delight (and sometimes
frighten) students with his infamous "AC/DC Psychotronic Teleplays" course.
In 1975, Kuchar wrote and starred in Curt McDowells notorious
underground feature THUNDERCRACK!, ensuring that the world will never be a clean and
respectable place. He went on to act in numerous films, including the recent 3 DAYS OF
RAIN. Kuchar also began expanding his oeuvre to include personal diary movies, exploiting
his morbid interests and notorious insecurities with his token razor-sharp sense of humor
in classics like "The Mongreloid" and "The Weather Diaries." With 50
years of literally hundreds of films and videos behind him, Kuchar has become a seminal
figure in underground cinema, with influences apparent in the films of John Waters, Guy
Maddin, and David Lynch. With grindhouse appeal, avant-garde credibility, and virtuosic
colors and compositions, Kuchars cinema is an unnatural force to be reckoned with.
Dont miss this rare opportunity to see his movies on the big screen!
We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome
filmmaker George Kuchar to the Egyptian Theatre for this special In-Person Tribute!
Tuesday, October 26 8:00 PM
THUNDERCRACK!, 1975, Canyon
Cinema, 158 min. Dir. Curt McDowell. Written by and starring George Kuchar,
THUNDERCRACK! is a classic of 16mm underground shock/sex camp. When weary travelers
trapped in a monstrous storm appear at the steps of a dank, dilapidated home hoping for
shelter, theyre greeted by brassy alcoholic widow Mrs. Gert Hammond (fearlessly
portrayed by Marion Eaton). As the night unfolds and circus animal shipper Bing (a
top-form Kuchar) begins to flap his jaws, a tidal wave of horror, sex, and offensiveness
unfurls. Kuchars over-the-top dialogue is, without a doubt, among the strangest and
most memorable ever caught on film. This recently discovered and restored full-length
version contains an additional 32 minutes of hilarious, vomit-inducing footage. [Note: Due
to graphic adult content, no one under 18 will be admitted to this program.] Discussion following with writer/actor George Kuchar.
Wednesday, October 27 8:00 PM
Georges Shorts: A
Glimpse at Kuchar
"Hold Me While Im Naked," 1966, Canyon Cinema,
15 min. Dir. George Kuchar. A masterpiece of underground cinema. "A very direct and
subtle, very sad and funny look at nothing more or less than sexual frustration and
aloneness." Ken Kelman.
"The Mongreloid," 1978, Canyon Cinema, 10 min. Dir.
George Kuchar. A man, his dog, and the regions they inhabited, each leaving his own
distinctive mark on the landscape. Not even time can wash the residue of what they left
"The Smutty Professor," 2003, George Kuchar, 40
min. Dir. George Kuchar. A behind-the-scenes exposť of creative desperation and unbridled
youth tackling the passions of dramatic exposition and erotic excess with kindergarten
"Storm Surge," 2004, George Kuchar, 15 min. Dir.
George Kuchar. Words of wisdom issue from the mind of a maligned artist as his calendar of
kitsch and comfort flap their pages amid a tempest of sea foam and pigeon wings.
"Swoon Lake," 2004, George Kuchar, 15 min. Dir.
George Kuchar. A leisurely meditation on East-West interactions involving accidental
Occidental mishaps and Oriental dental ingenuity. Plus: a surprise World Premiere of
a brand-new work!!
Discussion following with director George