The Nocturnal Immaculation, Aqueerius, Symphony for a Sinner, and The Mongreloid
For more than twenty years (the Kuchar brothers, George and Mike, began their filmmaking careers at age 13 in the Bronx), American independent, once underground, filmmaker George Kuchar has been the prolific director, writer, producer, editor, cameraman and actor of films which at once satirize and pay homage to the Hollywood B melodrama. Now teaching in the film department at the San Francisco Art Institute, Kuchar's films and those made with his students have not only sustained but surpassed their Hollywood/Sirkian prototypes. Kuchar's films were “punk” before the term originated.
The Nocturnal Immaculation
“The push and pull between the flesh and the spirit dominates this movie and becomes a rather nasty battle as two men and two women confront their shadows. These shadows become more black and prominent when the ‘light' that's supposed to guide them intensifies.” --George Kuchar
• (1980, 20 mins, Print from Canyon Cinema)
“Washes of water and other liquids soak the imagery...strung together for a rather enigmatic yet definite statement on something. Only the subconscious knows for sure.” --G.K.
• (1980, 7 mins, Print from Canyon Cinema)
Symphony for a Sinner
“For my return to talkies I chose a vehicle that was a busload of enthusiastic students from the Art Institute. I was at the wheel and hoping to arrive at a scenic destination full of color, romance, excitement, and moral significance. This wasn't all that easy to do as there was no accurate roadmap already in existence. But at least the journey was full of surprises although the gas to get this project moving was rather exorbitant.
“We all met twice a week for three-hour excursions toward our destination knocking down all the roadblocks in the way such as only two registered girls in the class and the fact that just about no one had training in acting or singing. This didn't matter as I was never trained as a film director.... you do what you have to do. The film being a ‘talkie' was also a chance to bring the actress, Marion Eaton, back to the screen in a sequence written especially for her.
“This film is a group effort that, despite flat tires and excessive exhaust emissions, managed to wind up in a ditch not far from an ‘international house of pancakes.' It's all fluff and it's fatty but it's also sweet and can fill up an hour with lumpy material.” --G.K.
“This garish shocker (even for Kuchar) was far and away the most inventive color film of the year. Some people have objected to the callowness of Kuchar's student performers, but he's arranged the film in such a way that their posturing becomes an inescapable subtext.” --J. Hoberman, Village Voice
• (1978, 60 mins, color, Print from George Kuchar)
“Not really a poem to God spelled backwards, but more a limerick to a pee pee licker, The Mongreloid will leave you with the question of whether the subject of the light verse walks in this film on four legs...or two.” --G.K.
• (1978, 10 mins, Print from Canyon Cinema)