George Kuchar made us laugh and today we cry
George Kuchar instructed my daughter in film at the San Francisco Art Institute where he surely inspired her and equipped her with new dimensions in creativity in a variety of ways. One can see the difference-pre-Kuchar and post-Kuchar so to speak. He was respected and enjoyed by his students and the arts community that become familiar with this American pioneer in creative media.
Here is a tribute by Sean "The Butcher" Smithson,
“EXPERIMENTAL FILM LEGEND GEORGE KUCHAR PASSES AWAY
It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of the seminal and eccentric George Kuchar. Born in 1942, and making his first short in 1954, Kuchar's contemporaries included Andy Warhol, Kenneth Anger, and Stan Brakhage. His profound influence can be seen in the of caustic work of button pushing auteurs like John Waters, and to a lesser degree, Andy Milligan.
A lo-fi maverick, stretching the limits of what could be called a plot, and employing talent challenged actors, Kuchar took threadbare components by design, and molded them into something far greater than their individual parts, creating uncomfortable but amazing universes. Starting out working in 8mm with his twin brother Mike in the NYC underground film scene, Kuchar supported himself as a commercial artist. After being laid off, he relocated to San Francisco, where he became an instructor at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1971. In the span of his career he directed over 200 films, and in 2000 the Village Voice Critics' Poll of the 100 best films of the 20th century, ranked his Hold Me While I'm Naked at #52.
The 2009 documentary It Came From Kuchar details the work of the Kuchar Bros, and currently a biopic based on the man is in the works. Reflections from a Cinematic Cesspool, by the Kuchar Bros, which reflects on their work and mad methods, which includes an introduction by their progeny John Waters, was released in 2007 and is highly recommended.
George Kuchar also got involved in the fertile underground comix scene of San Francisco of the early 70's, and countedMaus creator Art Spiegelman and Bill Griffith, the man behind the uber bizarre Zippy The Pinhead, as neighbors and sometime collaborators.
Details are still coming in, but from all reports, Mr. Kuchar passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. He is survived by his twin brother.
They just don't make 'em like they used to. Check out the trailer below for the documentary, and if you haven't already, see it. In an age when filmmakers are clamoring to go back and purposefully create scratchy, messed up, stylized, low grade freakshows by design, it would do this younger generation of torrid and strange filmmakers well to delve into the work of this mad, mad genius. Rule breaker. Teacher. Artist. Here's to you George.”