Artists' Television Access

George Kuchar: “Storm Squatter”

Friday, September 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

The second of two nights celebrating the life and works of the hugely influential filmmaker brothers George Kuchar (1942-2011) and Mike Kuchar.

George Kuchar’s long and loving interest in extreme weather is most poignantly portrayed in his “weather diary” films depicting his tornado-chasing exploits during severe storm seasons in Oklahoma. He habitually took up residence in hotel rooms and trailer parks in order to follow the storms as well as the locals.

I am not a storm chaser as I never learned how to drive a car. I wanted to experience springtime storms on the American plains like the simple folk I read about in those library books. Therefore the videos in the weather diaries depict the turmoil, tedium, terror and televised terrain of tornado country through the eyes of a transplant. At times I try to blend in, to digest the alien ambiance, the fast food and slow-motion days. Ailments galore pepper the series along with glimpses of those who pass like gas, vapors of vitality to sniff at with a gizmo that doesn’t have a nose. But I do hope you enjoy what its eye captures on this journey of jubilant junk food and delightful dread. – George Kuchar

WEATHERDIA_002Weather Diary #2 (1966, 70 minutes)

One of Kuchar’s fascinations is extreme weather. Every year for vacation he spends his time in a small motel room in El Reno, Oklahoma, waiting for a tornado to touch down in the small town. Here he copes with leaking air conditioning, food shopping, loneliness, television, and eating, among other things.

Weather Diary # 4 (1988, 48 minutes) 

Attempting to apologize for the lack of good weather in Weather Diary 3, George arrives in Milwaukee only to find the drought back in full swing. Since there’s not enough good weather, the tape becomes a social diary against the backdrop of the Motivation Of The Carcasoids project.



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