Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cult Filmmakers George & Mike Kuchar

Produced by Charlotte Robinson

In this audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with B Ruby Rich, American Scholar and Film Critic about Director Jennifer M. Kroot’s documentary “It Came From Kuchar.” Long before YouTube, there were the outrageous, no-budget movies of underground, filmmaking twins George and Mike Kuchar. George and Mike grew up in the Bronx in the 1950’s. At the age of twelve, they became obsessed with Hollywood melodramas and began making their own homespun melodramas with their aunt’s 8mm camera. They used their friends and family as actors and their Bronx neighborhood as their set. Early Kuchar titles featured in this film include “I Was A Teenage Rumpot” and “Born of the Wind”.

In the early 1960’s, alongside Andy Warhol, the Kuchar brothers shaped the New York underground film scene. Known as the “8mm Mozarts”, their films were noticeably different than other underground films of the time. They were wildly funny, but also human and vulnerable. Their films have inspired many filmmakers, including John Waters, Buck Henry, Atom Egoyan, Guy Maddin and Wayne Wang (all are interviewed in this film). Despite having high profile fans, the Kuchars remain largely unknown because they are only ambitious to make movies, not to be famous.

“It Came From Kuchar” interweaves the brothers’ lives, their admirers, a history of underground film and a “greatest hits” of Kuchar clips into a mesmerizing stream of consciousness tale. For More Info: KucharFilm.com

B Ruby Rich is a professor of community studies and social documentation at University of California, Santa Cruz. She is credited with coining the term "New Queer Cinema."

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