Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cult of the Kuchars: Weather Diary 1, George Kuchar (US, 1986)

Co-presented with Pacific Film Archive

Pacific Film Archive

PFA Preservation Tape

Introduced by Gene Youngblood, George Kuchar in person

Year after year, George Kuchar returns to the Motel Reno, twenty miles outside of Oklahoma City, to wait for a tornado. Before long we are into some real weather, courtesy of the twenty-four-hour weather channel that links George and his wet mutt Runt with the rest of this weather-beaten community. Kuchar’s fascination with the microcosm (he sees the eye of a tornado in the flushing of a toilet) equals his passion for the tempest in the heavens. He is supremely uncomfortable here on earth but no one is more at home with a camcorder and a vision, filming, editing, narrating in one take, so that what we get is a real George and not a bad actor. Weather Diary is a brilliant portrait of a stranger in a small panhandle town looking for answers in the atmosphere. Like the weather, no one could have predicted that this first videotape by Kuchar would have had an impact like El Nino. -Steve Seid

Written, photographed by Kuchar. (81 mins, Color, Digibeta, PFA Collection)

Preceded by short: Award (George Kuchar, U.S., 1992). A behind-the-scenes look at the man behind the trophy and the poisons that taint an otherwise jubilant jamboree. -George Kuchar. (20 mins, Beta SP, From Video Data Bank)

(Total running time: 101 mins)