TRIBUTE!: Shorts by underground legend George Kuchar

Oct. 27, 7:00 p.m. | Bright Family Screening Room | Free

strongJason Mandanjian, Beacon Correspondent/strong

The audio fades in and out. The colors of the video are dull and muted. The dialogue reeks with cheese and the acting is of theater camp quality. And yet, the 17-minute short film, emHold Me While I’m Naked/em, sits at number 52 in a ranked poll of best twentieth century films by the Village Voice.

Prolific underground cinema director George Kuchar may not have the name recognition that some of his colleagues enjoy, but his influence in filmmaking is still felt today.

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Tonight, at 7 p.m., the Visual and Media Arts Department will sponsor TRIBUTE!, a collection of short works by underground legend Kuchar in the Bright Family Screening Room.

The tribute comes in response to Kuchar’s death last month. He passed away at the age of 69 after a battle with prostate cancer.

Over the course of more than 200 flicks, Kuchar defined a style that embraced low production quality and trashy plotlines. His work remains largely obscure but vital to the history of independent film.

VMA professor and self-professed Kuchar fan Robert Todd  said he looks forward to the rare opportunity to screen some of the director’s vast oeuvre.

“He’s not somebody that I get to see regularly,” said Todd. “And the experience of seeing it in a theater on a projection screen was how they’ve always been meant to be seen.”

Todd said he is excited for a new generation of aspiring filmmakers to get the chance to witness the movies of one of the first amateur directors.

“It’s great to see someone be so unsubtle,” said Todd. “He really inspired the whole camp movement.”

emMandanjian can be reached at jason_mandanjian@emerson.edu/em

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