Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
July 3rd, 2010


Rating: 4/5

Director: Jennifer M. Kroot
Featuring: George Kuchar, Mike Kuchar, John Waters

As much as I am a fan and lover of the art form and medium that we call film, I’m (and I am sure all of you are) also a student of it; never quite getting enough of these pieces of art that are put to celluloid. That is why when a film like IT CAME FROM KUTCHAR falls into my lap (or lands in my mailbox to be exact), I have to close my laptop, set what I was doing on the backburner, and get lost in a world that frankly, I’m not at all familiar with.

Thank heavens I did, because this is one film I can’t get enough of.

If there is one thing in this world that I love more than watching a film, it’s being able to say that I truly got something out of it.  For every big budget, brainless, fast food style cinematic helping that comes our way, we also get a truly engaging, hilarious, and eye opening piece of documentary filmmaking like Jennifer Kroot’s ode to the Kuchar Brothers, some of the most influential filmmakers you’ve never heard of.

The great thing about KUCHAR is that, like any truly great piece of documentary filmmaking, it takes a world that most people don’t know too much, if anything, about (the Kuchar Brothers and underground filmmaking in this case), and shines a bright and long lasting light on it. Sure, I may not have heard of the pair before hand, but afterwards, my internet browser was full of YouTube videos, with many of their films making their way to the web and finding a home in this new digital age. Any documentary worth its weight in celluloid will allow the viewer to truly get lost in the world put on the screen, and will leave the viewer wanting to go back there, or learn more about it after the film is over, and that is exactly what this film does.

Now, the film itself looks great, and features interviews with the likes of Wayne Wang, Atom Egoyan and of course, the king of the underground, John Waters, but they all simply pale in comparison to the brothers themselves. The pair are more than magnetic on the screen, and while they seem a little out there (understatement of the century), you can tell that they not only love what they do with a passion that can rival any filmmaker’s, but they just genuinely love film, which is something that becomes infectious as the film goes on. It’s not a hard-hitting drama of a documentary; it’s a light-hearted ode to a pair of underground deities from one of their former students. It’s an affectionate and utterly compelling portrait that Kroot paints here, of these two filmmakers who are doing what they want, they way they want.

The film itself looks great, features footage from the films of the Kuchar Brothers, and the interviews here, while not too in depth, are really interesting, particularly for those who don’t know much, or anything, about them. It shines a lovingly bright light on two filmmakers who are completely free of any sort of studio control, or creative interference at all for that matter. It’s also a rather accessible document of the life and works of some of today’s most avant-garde filmmakers, which makes this all the more worthwhile of a watch for those who aren’t familiar with their work.

The DVD is now available for purchase, and features a commentary with the Kuchar Brothers and Jennifer Kroot, the film’s director, and also about 48 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, as well as a trailer for the film. It’s not a massively in-depth or strong documentary, but for those who have no idea who these filmmakers are, or why they are important, this is an absolute must see. The extra and deleted scenes don’t offer much in the way of information, but this film’s commentary is the rare DVD commentary that really justifies a second watch. The best parts of the film are when the brothers are just talking, and this commentary is no different.

Overall, the documentary itself is a bit airy, which makes the film weigh a little less as a whole, but it’s something that will really stick with you for a while, in the best possible way. It’s engaging, airy, and completely watchable from beginning to end. If you are a filmmaker, a fan of film, a student of the art form, or just have a passing interest in movies or movie making, this is an absolute must watch. You will not be sorry if you pick up IT CAME FROM KUCHAR.

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