Presented as loosely autobiographical, Hold Me While I’m Naked centres on the tribulations of an independent filmmaker, frustrated at every turn as he tries to make a film that pretends to artistic merit. Heavily indebted to Hollywood’s high priest of unrestrained Technicolor melodramas, Douglas Sirk, the saturated colours and treasure-trove of kitsch artefacts in Kuchar’s first 16mm colour production jar with the mock-seriousness of its subject matter. Addressing a topic that permeates a significant body of “serious” art, namely the position of the artist in relation to art itself and the world from which he draws his material, it questions the conventional solemn treatment of this theme. —Deborah Allison
George Kuchar (born August 31, 1942, New York City) is an American film director, known for his “low-fi” aesthetic, playful use of no-talent actors, plotless plots, and themeless themes. Trained as a commercial artist in a vocational high school, the School of Industrial Art, he drew weather maps for a local news show. During this period, he and his twin brother Mike Kuchar were making 8mm movies which were showcased in the then-burgeoning underground film scene alongside films by Andy Warhol, Kenneth Anger, and Stan Brakhage.
After being laid off from a commercial art job in New York City, Kuchar was offered a teaching job in the film department of the San Francisco Art Institute, where he has taught since 1971. It was in San Francisco that he became involved with underground comics via his neighbors Art Spiegelman and Bill Griffith. They both wound up in his movies and George wound up in their publications.
Planet Kuchar, a biopic of the life of George Kuchar… read more
When collaborator Donna Kerness backs out of his project irl, George Kuchar creates an alternative spectacle to that of her naked body by staging his own sense of alienation. The sudden shift from the erotic to the abject makes it all the more difficult for the audience to know whether to laugh or cry. Staring up from his Ma's meatloaf, he implores us: "there's a lotta things in life worth living for, isn't there?"
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