Kuchar Christmas
TRT: 49:03

Xmas 1987 New Years
Video Details
George Kuchar | 1987 | 12:38 | United States | English | Color | 4:3

A sweet and savory journey in the company of George traveling from Christmas to New Years, stopping for snacks, drinks, and pets. 

Close Details
Xmas 1987 New Years
Video Details
George Kuchar | 1987 | 12:38 | United States | English | Color | 4:3

A sweet and savory journey in the company of George traveling from Christmas to New Years, stopping for snacks, drinks, and pets. 

Close Details
Dingleberry Jingles
Video Details
Geroge Kuchar | 1994 | 20:55 | United States | English | Color | 4:3

In Dingleberry Jingles, George discusses all things Christmas with his cat, attends a wedding, and of course indulges in a holiday delicacy or two.  

Close Details
Holidaze, 1994
Video Details
George Kuchar | 1994 | 15:30 | United States | English | Color | 4:3

George spends quality time with his friends Karen and Carla in this unconventional, glitchy, collaged holiday video.

Close Details

About this program:

Bringing cheer, delicious treats, friendship, animal companions, and a little melancholy to the holiday season, George Kuchar's yearly video Christmas cards were the artists' special tradition. Hilariously funny and sentimental, these videos combine the indulgences and anxieties of the holidays, capturing George with his friends partaking in not so traditional festivities. In Xmas 1987 New Years, George takes us to several gatherings over Christmas and New Years. We meet a lot of his friends, co-workers, plus a few animal acquaintances. Dingleberry Jingles and Holidaze, 1994 both prominently feature two of George's most iconic friends, Karen and Carla (Karen Redgreene and Carla Liss) as they sift through holiday uncertainty, laughing all the way. Dingleberry Jingles begins with a wedding party for one of George's students, and dives into his activities from Thanksgiving to Christmas, which include shooting a video with a group of students, long talks with his cat, Blackie, and a Christmas card from John Waters. Holidaze, 1994 is a glitched out Christmas romp around Karen's house, followed by a relaxing day at Carla's place, opening presents and eating Christmas confections together. 

Using Kuchar's unique editing style, these titles profess both solitary and social moments, giving the viewer a glimpse of the time the video was shot, the lights, the smells, the tastes, and all the good and bad feelings associated with the holidays. The tradition of screening Kuchar Christmas titles for the holiday season was popularized by David Pendleton of the Harvard Film Archive, who programmed an annual Kuchar Christmas screening. In his words:

"Kuchar's intimate, eccentric and diaristic documentaries include a series of shorts about the emotional overload and release of the holidays, a selection of which are offered here as a tribute to Kuchar's unique voice and vision."

— David Pendleton, Harvard Film Archive, December 2013

 

Love what you’re watching? Interested in owning a George Kuchar video collection? 
Order The World of George Kuchar from vdb.org, availible for home purchase!The World of George Kuchar DVD cover

About George Kuchar:

George Kuchar ranks as one of the most exciting and prolific American independent film and videomakers. With his homemade Super 8 and 16mm potboilers and melodramas of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, he became legendary as a distinctive and outrageous underground filmmaker whose work influenced many other artists, including Andy Warhol, John Waters, and David Lynch. After his 1980s transition to video, he remained a master of genre manipulation and subversion, creating hundreds of brilliantly edited, hilarious, observant, often diaristic videos with an 8mm camcorder, dime-store props, not-so-special effects, friends turned actors, and the “pageant that is life” as his studio.

In 1984 Kuchar received the Los Angeles Film Critics Award in the Experimental/Independent category. In 1992, he received the prestigious Maya Deren Award for Independent Film and Video Artists from the American Film Institute. In 1996 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. He taught at the San Francisco Art Institute for forty years, where he made many videos in collaboration with his students.

"...The best for last, though: the filmmaker George Kuchar... When the day arrives — and it will — to appoint an official United States cultural ambassador to Outer Space, Mr. Kuchar is the obvious choice. I will say no more. See his films. He is beyond enigmatic. He is it. I salute him."

— Holland Cotter, Review of the Good Morning Midnight exhibition at Casey Kaplan Gallery, The New York Times, July 27th, 2007

Featured titles

Dingleberry Jingles

Christmas is here again in this diary of glittering gifts, furry friends, underground movie making, and grotesque greetings. A veneer of good cheer coats the surface like thin ice, so proceed with caution!

Xmas 1987 New Years

In this sequel to Rainy Season, George recovers from his depression and experiences a "little joy" during a New Year's Eve of champagne cork-popping. A tree, a carrot cake, a fire in the hearth and a spin at The Wheel of Fortune — it's all here for the viewing.

Holidaze, 1994

The season sweeps through in a blur of glitches, gulps and sweetened goo, as chimes wring out the old and ring in the new.