January's Light + Sound Machine, co-presented with the Belcourt Theater features George Kuchar's HOLD ME WHILE I'M NAKED, followed by THE DEVIL'S CLEAVAGE. Both will be screened on 16mm film. Tickets are available now for $10 for the Janary 16th event.
THE DEVIL'S CLEAVAGE d. George Kucher, USA 1973, black and white, 107 min.
"George Kuchar's lovingly farcical re-creation of those (Forties and Fifties) melodramas, THE DEVIL'S CLEAVAGE, is a camp parody that sometimes directly steals from the genre, sometimes burlesques it, and often travesties it. As you might expect, it soon begins to mock all kinds of cinematic references, from Hitchcock to Preminger. But leave the exact details to pedants, laughter's the thing here . Kuchar manages terribly well in terms of imagination and inventiveness, and just plain terribly in terms of such humdrum details of filming as using a light meter and tape recorder. Technical ineptness aside, we end up with a marvelous hybrid, as if Sam Fuller and Sternberg had collaborated in shooting a script by Tennessee Williams and Russ Meyer. Which is to say that excess is the most basic element of Kuchar's method, even when (almost paradoxically) it's an excess of cliche ('Such language! Bite your tongue!' 'Bite it for me!) Douglas Sirk tells us, 'Cinema is blood, tears, violence, hate, death, and love.' Kuchar reminds us that cinema, like life, is also bedpans, earwax, sleazy fantasy, ineptness, compromise, and laughter." -- Chuck Kleinhans, Film Center program