Sep 27th 2019

The Hero Is Left with His Own Uncertainty and Fears is a 16mm-film program that includes three independently produced films from 1960s: George Kuchar’s “Corruption of the Damned,” Mike Kuchar’s “The Secret of Wendel Samson,” and Bob Cowan’s “Moddle Toddle.” George Kuchar and Mike Kuchar’s films here screened together in The Kuchar Brothers double-feature program at The Gate Theater in September to October 1966.

George Kuchar’s “Corruption of the Damned” (1965, 55 min) follows two brothers on an Odyssean voyage through Bronx’s garbage dumps, hipster séances, aristocrat motorcycle gangs, violent union strikes, and twisted catfights. This film captures George Kuchar’s bizarre humor with grandeur. This silent film, with intertitles, was George Kuchar’s first 16mm feature and originally screened as part of The Gate Theater’s New Visions Festival.

Mike Kuchar’s “The Secret of Wendel Samson” (1966, 33.5 min) is a color film with sound that features artist Red Grooms as an impotent and distraught young man who thwarts the advances of his persistent female friend while simultaneously breaking up with his wealthy male lover. Overburdened by the boredom that ensues, with a lack of both creative inspiration and desire, he is kidnapped by a mob and forced to react. This film originally screened as part of The New Visions Festival and later as part of the Erotica Neurotica programs.

Bob Cowan’s “Moddle Toddle” (1967, 5 min) documents the solo after-party of a young woman (Donna Kerness) enjoyed after everyone else has fallen asleep. High-energy and hilarious, this film (which features a debut of a sleeping George Kuchar) originally opened for “Corruption of the Damned” at The New Visions Festival.

The Hero Is Left with His Own Uncertainty and Fears is part of THE GATE THEATER FILM FESTIVAL 1966/2019, a week-long, 16mm-film festival that is taking place Tuesday, September 24, through Monday, September 30, from 7 to 9 pm at filmfront.

FILMFRONT is a community-based cine-club founded in July 2015 by Malia Haines-Stewart and Alan Medina. Dedicated to collaboration and open dialogue, filmfront—like The Gate Theater—is a place where audience members are not expected to have any previous education in, nor even exposure to, institutionalized fine arts.

THE GATE THEATER FILM FESTIVAL 1966/2019 is presented by curator and writer AMELIA ISHMAEL, as a tendril from her book manuscript The Black Gate Theater: Aldo Tambellini, Independent Film and Intermedia Performance in New York City’s Lower East Side 1965-1968; A Historic Revaluation of Experimental Arts Venues, Including The Bridge Theater and The Gate Theater.

THE GATE THEATER FILM FESTIVAL 1966/2019 is partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Projection and 16mm equipment supplied by Chicago Film Society. Archival film prints are from the Film-makers’ Coop, Harvard Film Archives, and Janus Films.

Advance reservations accepted at filmfront, Sunday 1-4 pm and Monday 1-8 pm. Individual tickets are available for $10; Festival passes are $45. At the door, suggested sliding-scale admission will be $5-10.

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