George Kuchar, The Thursday People
Sun 5 Apr 2015
Prominent in independent film and video George Kuchar (1942–2011) acquired a camcorder in the 1980s and created hundreds of brilliantly edited, hilarious, observant and often diaristic videos. Steve Seid writes of The Thursday People: ‘An elegy for (Curt) McDowell, the video work… has the inquisitive charm, perverse humor, and quirky candor that places Kuchar’s visual expressions in a gritty niche all their own. (Berkeley: Pacific Film Archives, 1988).
Curt was curt, cute, controversial, and not celibate. He was a barrel of laughs and a roller coaster ride to hell and back. Life for him was a fast track to fast times that included devilish detours into forbidden erogenous zones. He explored all those zones with a zealous zeal: painter, pornographer, poet of the plebeian and the perverse; you name it (or sing it since he also wrote songs) and it all rings true. Call him a fresco fornicator or an Indiana born iconoclast and you only skim the surface of what this entity was into. Everything that he did was usually greased up for maximum penetration and the ease in which he entered the lives of every Tom, Dick and Harry was breathtaking. They also splurted into him the essence of his creativity: a joy in corporeal connections and a sharing of human juices to oil up the machinery of movie making. Curt McDowell gave the paying public what they craved in darkened theaters nationwide. His was not a cinema of dead meat: His beefcake was hot off the streets and the cheesecake was equally tart and titillating. All of this was served in a blue plate special that was generously filled with obsessions immune to none. They might not have been your particular obsessions but we, as “sinners”, knew their kin.
The canvases he produced were beautifully rendered and revealed a true artist that used all his varied protuberances to maximum, imaginative potential. He also designed costumes, wrote screenplays, and graced the silver screen with his satyr-like presence. I humbly take my hat off to this very talented titan (although he’d usually suggest lowering the trousers). – Extract from The George Kuchar Reader, edited by Andrew Lampert, 2014
This screening is part of GFT’s Crossing the Line strand.