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Wed, Jun 08

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Los Angeles

The Craven Sluck (1967) + Someone I Touched (1975)

A high camp double-bill: two depraved portraits of housewives from the 1960s and 1970s from the Kuchar brothers and Lou Antonio.

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The Craven Sluck (1967) + Someone I Touched (1975)

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Jun 08, 2022, 7:30 PM

Los Angeles, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA

Mezzanine presents a high camp double-bill: two depraved portraits of housewives from the 1960s and 1970s.

Introduced by guest curator KYK

The Craven Sluck

directed by Mike Kuchar

1967, U.S., 20m, 16mm

Independent filmmakers Mike and George Kuchar became infamous in the 1960s New York underground scene for their uproariously raunchy low-budget spoofs of Hollywood melodramas, always shot with palpable awe and compassion for their daffy subjects. These films paved the path for future poverty-row provocateurs, most famously John Waters. Mike Kuchar’s Craven Sluck, shot on location in the Bronx, is a hysterical ode to the vicissitudes of desire unfulfilled, about an unhappy housewife (Lorraine Connors) who seeks solace in the arms of a stranger (George Kuchar).

16mm print courtesy of Anthology Film Archives!

“The uneven acting, stock music, lack of sync sound, hyperbolic narration and primitive special effects combined to create brilliant gems unlike anything seen before or since…With one foot firmly planted in classic, sentimental Hollywood, the Kuchars celebrated the melodrama of everyday people and their ever-fluctuating emotions, obsessions and repressions. Yet, their films are never fully camp; they are filled with as much beauty, pathos, awe and reflexivity as raunch and humor. Despite their deep influence on popular artists and filmmakers—including John Waters, Andy Warhol, Todd Solondz and David Lynch—the Kuchars never aspired to mainstream success. Their particular ethos and aesthetic thrived in the glorious, glamorous gutter.” -Harvard Film Archive

followed by:

Someone I Touched

directed by Lou Antonio

1975, U.S., 74m, digital

A should-be camp classic, Lou Antonio’s made-for-TV melodrama captures the nascent hysteria around venereal disease with surprising sensitivity and committed performances. Our screening serves as a salute to the dearly departed Cloris Leachman, who followed up her Oscar-winning performance as a neglected housewife in The Last Picture Show with this far less chaste domestic role. A newly pregnant Southern California woman learns that both she and her husband contracted syphilis from a teen (Glynnis O’Connor) he’s been having an affair with—but the truth, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Bookended by an unforgettable theme song (sung by Leachman).

KYK is a former film critic from South Korea, currently based in New York. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The Village Voice, GQ, and elsewhere. She can be found on Instagram at @binchuation.

Special thanks to John Klacsmann (Anthology Film Archives), Michelle Silva (Kuchar Family Trust), Chris Chouinard (Park Circus), Mark Toscano, and Jameson West (Projections LA).

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