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Title: George Kuchar is no more

James Cheney - September 9, 2011 03:40 PM (GMT)
He was 69. Twin brother Mike survives him. The two of them made viral videos as kids starting in the fifties, flamboyantly tacky, rude, funny and desperate shorts with names spoofing overheated Hollywood melodramas: LUST FOR ECSTASY; PUSSY ON A HOT TIN ROOF. They were celebrated as 'primitive artists' (dwelling in the jungle of the Bronx) by the avant garde and underground, were widely distributed, and hugely influential on transgressive, humorous cinema for several decades. Warhol, John Waters, Robert Downey Sr., countless early porno movies share a debt to the Brothers Kuchar. Starting with abject masterpiece of the tenements HOLD ME WHILE I'M NAKED, George became the more dominant personality (Mike's best remembered on his own for SINS OF THE FLESHAPOIDS), moved to San Francisco (Mike in tow), taught film for decades and made hundreds of short and shortish turbulent, ridiculous, trippy and campy masterpieces. He was very much a bizarro world 'George Cukor', his near namesake. He was also a major experimental film maker, and an R. Crumb or Harvey Pekar type character, very American Splendor-like in his film diary entries. Brother Mike stuck with him to the end. I've seen a couple dozen or so films by him/them. I wonder how many of the hundreds more survive. Requiem for a Rumpot: Kuchar Obituary from the San Francisco Chronicle.

William S. Wilson - September 9, 2011 04:15 PM (GMT)
I've never seen any of their stuff, although a friend did recently send me THE DEVIL'S CLEAVAGE (amazing title). For anyone interested, there was a documentary about them called IT CAME FROM KUCHAR a few years back and it is streaming on Netflix.

Brian Camp - September 9, 2011 05:05 PM (GMT)
The Kuchar brothers went to the same movie theaters I did, only about a decade earlier. (Novelist Richard Price of "The Wanderers" fame was at those same theaters starting somewhere in between.) I saw a program of Kuchar films hosted by Mike down at the old Collective for Living Cinema which was in Tribeca before it was called "Tribeca." (I think it was all called Soho back then.) Amazing stuff. I once sent George a copy of my early '80s fanzine, "Lowbrow Cinema," figuring I'd capitalize on the Bronx connection, and out of the blue he gave me a call one evening and we had a pleasant chat. I don't remember what we talked about, though.

James Cheney - September 9, 2011 06:27 PM (GMT)
I forgot to mention that George was star, co-writer (it's his twisted imagination on display clearly), and makeup artist of the notorious THUNDERCRACK, a veritable epic of sexcess!, an Odyssey of exploitation, a wonderful film but definitely not for the faint of heart.

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