SFMOMA OPENSPACE | A Conversation with Mike Kuchar

Mike Kuchar is a true San Francisco treasure. His uncompromising output spans more than sixty years, and reminds us of the often forgotten value of individual vision and non-conformity. The few meetings I have had with Mike always leave me feeling completely inspired, and this time was no exception. Below are excerpts from that wide ranging two-hour conversation, between Mike, Gordon, and myself, which took place in my studio on May 18th, 2016.

Matt Borruso

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January 29, 2015

“Movies should have sex appeal,” says Mike Kuchar. “It’s a basic fundamental quality and helps in making it bearable to watch.” It’s the same bravado that seared through the filmmaker’s lascivious, sugar-coated home videos made with his brother George and screened alongside friends Kenneth Anger, Jonas Mekasand Andy Warhol in the New York underground film scene of the 1960s and 70s. Experimenting with 8mm film, the twin brothers from the Bronx conjured up their own camp, sexually charged pop fantasies in fleshly shades of violet, turquoise, and sunflower.

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Mike Kuchar — SFMOMA Interview

December 18, 2009

After the Kuchar Bros. screening last Thursday evening (George and Mike Kuchar, Recent Preservations: Pussy on a Hot Tin Roof, Tootsies in Autumn, A Woman Distressed, and Lovers of Eternity) I trapped Mike Kuchar in the back of the catering kitchen, near the walk-in freezer, and conducted this tiny interview with him as part of the ongoing series “5 Questions.” His brother George had recently been asked the same 5 questions for the blog, but Mike’s answers were different. This controlled experiment revealed that twins don’t always think alike. 

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Mike Kuchar — Media Funhouse Interview (Sins of the Fleshapoids)

December 10, 2009

For more clips like this, visit the blog for the NYC cult cable-access show Media Funhouse, located here: www.mediafunhouse.blogspot.com The legendary underground filmmaker talks about how he achieved the look of his most famous film, the cult classic "Sins of the Fleshapoids." This interview was shot at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City on the occasion of a retrospective of Kuchar's latest videos.

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Mike Kuchar in Stopsmiling

December 23, 2005

Sharing a Bronx childhood immersed in movies, twin brothers Mike and George Kuchar developed during the '50s and '60s into two of the most influential underground filmmakers in America ? while still in their teens and early 20s. Possessed by vivid imagination and ribald taste, the brothers were instrumental in giving rise to intentional camp cinema, and did so well before Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures and Susan Sontag's ?Notes on Camp.? And presaging Warhol, they created a factory of their own ? ?Hollywood in the Bronx? ? by using friends and other co-conspirators for their madcap 8mm deconstructions of melodrama, sci-fi, and horror.

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