Canary‘s Alejandro Adams got interviewed by Karina Longworth, and she did a fine job of it.
Meanwhile, Monday’s screenings include some that might have been missed first time around, including the highly-recommended Rocaterrania (see Michael Gant’s review below), Bitter and Twisted (5pm, C12), and Necessities of Life (4:15pm, C12). We’re in touch with the Lewis Bros (of Billy Was a Deaf Kid) so we’ll have an interview up presently. Keep watching this space.
(U.S.) This fascinating documentary uncovers a significant artistic talent. Elderly, white-bearded Renaldo Kuhler has spent most of his life creating in drawings and text a mythical country called Rocaterrania, located on the border between Canada and New York. His fantastical visions depict a brightly tinted blend of Russian, Serbian and Jewish influences with touches of Middle Earth whimsy. The visuals come with ledger books full of written mythology, including a fully fleshed-out alphabet for Rocaterrania’s language. In some ways, Kuhler style resembles that of another obsessive outsider artist, without so much of the creepy sexuality centered on young girls. Kuhler, however, is not exactly a true outsider artist; his considerable skills were put to mainstream use in his day job as a scientific illustrator at a natural history museum; and he clearly must have learned something about design from his father, Otto Kuhler, a famous industrial designer responsible for streamliner trains in the 1930s. Kuhler’s parents were cold and unyielding, and when they took their sensitive teenage son to live on a remote Western range, he retreated into his imaginary world, using it to deflect his psychological traumas. If he had been born a decade later, Kuhler might have found his way into print earlier—it is easy to imagine him working side by side with R. Crumb (Kuhler draws lots of muscular, big-thighed women in the Crumb mold) at Zap comics. For that matter, a decade earlier and he could have been trading ideas with Joseph Cornell (as it is, Kuhler did contribute some title lettering to one of Stan Brakhage’s experimental films.) Filmmaker Brett Ingram has done a great surface by bringing Kuhler’s hidden universe to light. (MSG)
March 2 at 7:15pm andMarch 3 at 12:30pm, all at Camera 12