Remembering Graham and George

Scene from "It Came From Kuchar" from

Bay Area film fans are still reeling from the loss of popular San Francisco Film Society executive director Graham Leggat, who passed away August 25 at age 51 after an 18-month cancer battle. (In a statement, SFFS board of directors president Pat McBaine called Leggat's tenure "the best years in the life of the Film Society.")

Today comes another blow, from multiple social media and blog reports, of yesterday's passing of George Kuchar, beloved underground filmmaker extraordinaire. By himself and with his twin brother, Mike, George Kuchar — who influenced innumerable young artists while teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute — directed over 200 films, as wild and creative as they were low-budget, and almost always boasting titillating titles: Color Me Shameless (1967), Hold Me While I'm Naked (1966), The Devil's Cleavage (1973). He also wrote the screenplay for 1975 horror-porn-turned-midnight-classic, Thundercrack!

George and Mike Kuchar have been a favorite subject in the Guardian's pages over the years (recent stories here, here, and here). The uninitiated can get a jump start on celebrating George's glorious legacy by first checking out Jennifer Kroot's 2000 documentary, It Came from Kuchar; a wide selection of Kuchar films can be found at Canyon Cinema and, for those of us without film projectors, on YouTube. (Also recommended: the brothers' Reflections from a Cinematic Cesspool, with an intro by John Waters.)