Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cult of the Kuchars: Artist Friends: Videos by George and Mike Kuchar

Co-presented with Pacific Film Archive

Pacific Film Archive

After home video formats became available, George and Mike Kuchar embraced their affordability and, even more so, their vast array of
low-end special effects. While they both continued to mount irreverent genre spectacles, Mike also began making a series of lyrical,
interpretive portraits, and George turned the camera on himself as he poured out confessions. Tonight’s small sampling of their sizable video
output features works in which they fill the screen with their artist friends. Mike was invited by punk rocker Kembra Pfahler to make a music
video, but the resulting Blue Banshee ended up including more classical music than the band’s loud sound. Mike’s recent Opal Essence features
local poet and performance artist Marc Arthur in a manipulated psychedelic extravaganza loaded with special effects, superimposed
images, and expressive posturing. George’s portraits inevitably are mixed with self-portraiture. In Oasis of the Pharoahs, he attends the
wedding of filmmakers/curators Rebecca Barten and David Sherman; on-the-scene footage is intercut with B-movie clips and in-camera
musings. In the classic Cult of the Cubicles, George visits his mother in the Bronx and stops by the cramped apartments of artist classmates
from his high school years to muse on growing old.

Blue Banshee (Mike Kuchar, 1994, 14:30 mins). Oasis of the Pharaohs (George Kuchar, 1997, 17:30 mins). Opal Essence (Mike Kuchar, 2010, 12
mins). Cult of the Cubicles (George Kuchar, 1987, 45 mins)

-Kathy Geritz

(Total running time: 89 mins, Color, Beta SP, From Video Data Bank)