Secrets of the Shadow World Filmdetails

Secrets of the Shadow World

Special Screening - free entry, reservation recommended
[click here for e-mail reservation]

Supplied with funds from a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, American underground film legend George Kuchar (1942-2011) set out to make a monumental work about his lifelong interest in paranormal phenomena. The resulting three-episode miniseries, Secrets of the Shadow World, has been described by film critic Amy Taubin as “Kuchar’s magnum opus.” The central figure of the docuseries is, ostensibly, UFOlogist John Keel (1930-2009). Keel is best known for his book The Mothman Prophecies (1975), and for Richard Gere's portrayal of him in the book’s 2002 Hollywood film adaptation. But like any of Kuchar’s video diaries, Shadow World’s subjects are myriad, and the most persistent subject is Kuchar himself. The probing wit of his handheld camera; his nonstop, deadpan commentary blaring out from behind it; his freewheeling conversations with countless friends and fellow travelers (whether on a hike with Keel to the enigmatic Mount Shasta, or over snacks at the San Francisco Art Institute holiday party); his claustrophobic monologues (notably his retelling of his strangest and most erotic paranormal encounter): All of this is pieced together through a barrage of pre-fab, straight-out-of-Y2K video transition gags, and set to a score of melodramatic Old-Hollywood themes. With garrulous humor and enormous heart, Kuchar pinpoints the bizarre in the mundane, the queerness of paranoia, and the strange intimacies of the communities that grow out of fascination with the unknown.

Kuchar writes: “With a new millennium almost upon us, images of space aliens invading the marketplace and sleeping habits of consumers worldwide, this miniseries abducts the viewers into the universe of John A. Keel (via a video time-warp supplied by me with Rockefeller Foundation funding). It’s a leisurely expedition through a maze of kitchens and cerebral convolutions in search of the mysteries behind the mundane (or vice versa!). Mr. Keel, an author and stage magician, has made a profound impact on the pop-culture we swim in. His research and books on the UFO enigma have ignited an explosive wild-fire of imaginative invocations such as the X-FILES TV show and the Men in Black blockbuster movie. Yet you never hear about him and he never hears from the movie and television companies. In this video you see and hear him. You also see and hear a whole lot of other people and some animals. The whole show runs almost 2 hours and 20 minutes, but be sure to stay for part 3 as the UFO/Horror author, Whitley Streiber, teams up with my old star, Donna Kerness to reveal exclusive revelations on the ‘visitor’ experience. See this video… Then read their books — and pray it’s not true!”

Thanks to the Estate of George Kuchar and Electronic Arts Intermix.

This screening is held on the occasion of “Dowsing,” an exhibition at Emanuel Layr curated by Nick Irvin, as part of Curated By, the gallery festival with international curators in Vienna.

September 9th, 8:30pm [click here for e-mail reservation]

LandUSA 1999
RegieGeorge Kuchar
DarstellerGeorge Kuchar, John A. Keel, Larry Leibowitz, Steve Anker, Dan Carbone, Whitley Streiber, Donna Kerness
MusikGeorge Kuchar