George Kuchar's Weather Diary 1
Sunday June 1, 2014, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
George Kuchar's Weather Diary 1
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
Filmforum is thrilled to present the feature-length first entry in George Kuchar's monumental Weather Diary series, which eventually spanned six parts and a slew of related supplementary works. Like much of Kuchar's diaristic work, Weather Diary 1 is an utterly characteristic and deeply entertaining mix of the observational, the naked, the poetic, the uncomfortable, and the hilarious. Shot almost entirely in camera on Kuchar's visit to Oklahoma in search of dramatic weather phenomenon, the video ultimately functions as a probing, idiosyncratic document of the humor, morbidity, and humanity of a "Bronx boy's friendly, if somewhat freaky, foray into Americana".
For more event information: www.lafilmforum.org, or 323-377-7238
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members.
WEATHER DIARY 1 George Kuchar
1986, SD video, color, sound, 81min.
"The tape ultimately addresses all the big questions death, origin and family, religion as well as the small discomforts of the body, only to reverse their order of importance." (Margaret Morse, Framework (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)
"This (just about) feature length documentary attempts to capture the feel of the Oklahoma experience as I lived it for about three or four weeks in May at a motel/trailer park. It was entirely edited in camera and shot in a start to finish manner with the time being manipulated and expanded upon by in-camera inserts. You get sneak peaks of the occupants of the facility and glimpses of their lives interspersed with threats of turbulent weather both above our heads and squeezed into a TV tube. There are also four legged mammals hanging around and some bugs here and there. I do my best to connect with them all, socially.
"This first video in the series sets the gastric tone of all future visits to Oklahoma and delves into a menu of gassy goodies and gooey deposits. This motel (and the owners) no longer exist as death and the bulldozer have wiped them out. But they live on in this electronic format which has always seemed to shock and outrage viewers on many occasions and has been assigned the dubious distinction of a 'dangerous live wire, so beware'! These sentiments (warnings) were issued by Scott MacDonald as his screening of the video to his class created an horrendous uproar of disgust. It also shed a new and very unflattering light on the Flaherty Film Seminar in upstate New York as the audience, totally repelled by this white man spending time in Indian territory and exposing his greasy secrets, skin and imperfect teeth was too much to bear for politically correct academia. Since the other documentaries in that venue stressed racial confrontations and territorial hatreds, the fact that they had to endure sitting through this exposition of a Bronx boy's friendly, if somewhat freaky, foray into Americana was too much to tolerate. The prestigious showcase turned into the Jerry Springer Show, and the animosity this video revealed from behind the cloak of academic respectability was truly awesome! I hope you enjoy it." (George Kuchar)
George Kuchar was born in Manhattan on Aug. 31, 1942 (an hour after his brother Mike), and grew up in the Bronx. His father, also George, was a truck driver whose taste for pornographic films triggered an initial interest in what the younger George called "the sordidness of adults" and the power of film to "suddenly make it so alive."
Their mother, Stella, bought the brothers their camera.
After graduating from the School of Industrial Art (now the High School of Art and Design) in Manhattan, Mr. Kuchar worked briefly drawing weather maps for the New York television meteorologist Dr. Frank Field; then tried drawing comics. He settled on being a full-time filmmaker after The Village Voice and The New York Herald Tribune wrote glowing articles about some of his early work. (A reviewer in Newsweek called the brothers "the holy innocents of the underground.")
In 1971 he was invited to teach filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he remained on the faculty until his death in 2011.
His influence is incalculable, having inspired generations of artists, filmmakers, students, curators, and movie lovers through his teaching, appearances, and above all his massive, unparalleled body of work, which essentially constitutes a pioneering genre in itself.
(biography partly adapted from George's NY Times obituary, printed 9/8/2011)
This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. 2014 is our 39th year.
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Image copyright of the artist. Image provided by Video Data Bank, www.vdb.org
Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian (View)
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
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