George Kuchar’s Rarely Screened
Color Feature on 16mm!
Saturday, March 15, at 7pm, $7-$10
The Nightingale pays tribute to the hilarious, resolute, lurid vision of much-beloved moviemaker George Kuchar, whose death in late summer 2011 left the experimental film community with a permanent skip in its heartbeat.
An itchy, pungent cavalcade of perverted thrills, UNSTRAP ME! was filmed amid much classy drinking, suggestive sculpture, and raucous travel. Kuchar—who was aged 26 at the time and fresh from his landmark short Hold Me While I’m Naked—uncharacteristically adapts a story by someone else: writer-producer Walter K. Gutman (who also financed noted beatnik undergrounders Pull My Daisy and The Sin of Jesus). With a budget that allowed for shooting in such exotic settings as Provincetown, Queens, and the Ringling Brothers Circus on the west coast of Florida, Kuchar was able to flash his own flair for with exotic costumes, make-up, and bouncy, bumptious color and to indulge the producer’s fondness for “strong muscular women who were able to pick him up off the ground.” Gutman plays Uncle Bojo Wurlitzer, a horndog whose fleshy predilictions cause him no small measure of frisson and frustration.
“This film is my longest movie in color because someone else produced it. It has a lot of scenery and the soundtrack has a lot of sound.”—George Kuchar
“SEX…is the keynote of ‘Unstrap Me.’”—The New York Times
“[Kuchar’s style is] so impoverished that it gives a spectator the kind of disenchantment, sordidness, feverish wastage that no other movie even suggests.”—Manny Farber
“A vision so peculiar, so hilarious, good-natured and proudly pitiful that I realized (with a little help from LSD) that I too could make the films of my dreams.”—John Waters
Preceded by the short THE HOUSE OF THE WHITE PEOPLE, described by Kuchar thusly: “Having nothing to do with racial tensions, HOUSE OF THE WHITE PEOPLE… is a unique invitation to view the hidden rituals of a famous artist and his infamous model [Donna Kerness], half naked, snowbound together on a lonely farm, with a silent wife and a notorious guest.”
HOUSE OF THE WHITE PEOPLE (1968, 16mm, 17 min)
Directed by George Kuchar. With Walter K. Gutman, Donna Kerness, George Segal, Helen Segal.
UNSTRAP ME! (1968, 16mm, 77 min)
Directed by George Kuchar. With Walter K. Gutman, Janine Söderhjelm, Donna Kerness, George Segal, Floraine Connors (Cohen), Francis Leibowitz (not to be confused with writer and wag Fran Lebowitz), and Helen Segal. Based on the story “The Trip to Chicago” by Walter K. Gutman. Music by Michael Snow (yes, that Michael Snow) and Bob Cowan.
Programmed by Edward E. Crouse
Filed under: experimental, film