American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of Sept./Oct. Schedule!
Series compiled by:  John Palmer.

 

 

Special Thanks to: Mark Toscano; George Kuchar; CANYON CINEMA.

 

 

 

 

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< October 26 & 27, 2004 >>>

Visionary Vices: The Backdoor Screen-Gems of George Kuchar

 

Co-Presented by San Francisco Art Institute and LA Filmforum.

 

"[Kuchar’s films] were my first inspiration, …the pivotal films of my youth, bigger influences than Warhol, Kenneth Anger, even THE WIZARD OF OZ." – John Waters

Underground legend George Kuchar began making no-budget 8mm trash epics at the tender age of 12 with his twin brother and co-conspirator Mike. While growing up in the Bronx, the Kuchars crafted a deliriously smutty world of cinema with little more than wild imaginations and some borrowed lipstick. George’s first 16mm film, "Corruption of the Damned," came at age 23 and he went on to feverishly produce a slew of classic tales of repressed lust, questionable behavior, and Douglas Sirk-inspired melodrama – including "Hold Me While I’m Naked," "Eclipse Of The Sun Virgin," "Unstrap Me," and many more. Celebrated alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, and Kenneth Anger, Kuchar became a hero for movie-makers and movie-lovers living on the fringes. In the early 70s, he began teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he continues to delight (and sometimes frighten) students with his infamous "AC/DC Psychotronic Teleplays" course.

In 1975, Kuchar wrote and starred in Curt McDowell’s notorious underground feature THUNDERCRACK!, ensuring that the world will never be a clean and respectable place. He went on to act in numerous films, including the recent 3 DAYS OF RAIN. Kuchar also began expanding his oeuvre to include personal diary movies, exploiting his morbid interests and notorious insecurities with his token razor-sharp sense of humor in classics like "The Mongreloid" and "The Weather Diaries." With 50 years of literally hundreds of films and videos behind him, Kuchar has become a seminal figure in underground cinema, with influences apparent in the films of John Waters, Guy Maddin, and David Lynch. With grindhouse appeal, avant-garde credibility, and virtuosic colors and compositions, Kuchar’s cinema is an unnatural force to be reckoned with. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see his movies on the big screen!

We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome filmmaker George Kuchar to the Egyptian Theatre for this special In-Person Tribute!

 

Tuesday, October 26 – 8:00 PM

THUNDERCRACK!, 1975, Canyon Cinema, 158 min. Dir. Curt McDowell. Written by and starring George Kuchar, THUNDERCRACK! is a classic of 16mm underground shock/sex camp. When weary travelers trapped in a monstrous storm appear at the steps of a dank, dilapidated home hoping for shelter, they’re greeted by brassy alcoholic widow Mrs. Gert Hammond (fearlessly portrayed by Marion Eaton). As the night unfolds and circus animal shipper Bing (a top-form Kuchar) begins to flap his jaws, a tidal wave of horror, sex, and offensiveness unfurls. Kuchar’s over-the-top dialogue is, without a doubt, among the strangest and most memorable ever caught on film. This recently discovered and restored full-length version contains an additional 32 minutes of hilarious, vomit-inducing footage. [Note: Due to graphic adult content, no one under 18 will be admitted to this program.] Discussion following with writer/actor George Kuchar.

 

Wednesday, October 27 – 8:00 PM

George’s Shorts: A Glimpse at Kuchar

"Hold Me While I’m Naked," 1966, Canyon Cinema, 15 min. Dir. George Kuchar. A masterpiece of underground cinema. "A very direct and subtle, very sad and funny look at nothing more or less than sexual frustration and aloneness." – Ken Kelman.

"The Mongreloid," 1978, Canyon Cinema, 10 min. Dir. George Kuchar. A man, his dog, and the regions they inhabited, each leaving his own distinctive mark on the landscape. Not even time can wash the residue of what they left behind.

"The Smutty Professor," 2003, George Kuchar, 40 min. Dir. George Kuchar. A behind-the-scenes exposť of creative desperation and unbridled youth tackling the passions of dramatic exposition and erotic excess with kindergarten kinship.

"Storm Surge," 2004, George Kuchar, 15 min. Dir. George Kuchar. Words of wisdom issue from the mind of a maligned artist as his calendar of kitsch and comfort flap their pages amid a tempest of sea foam and pigeon wings.

"Swoon Lake," 2004, George Kuchar, 15 min. Dir. George Kuchar. A leisurely meditation on East-West interactions involving accidental Occidental mishaps and Oriental dental ingenuity. Plus: a surprise World Premiere of a brand-new work!!

Discussion following with director George Kuchar.