The Mongreloid (George Kuchar, 1978, US)

The Mongreloid is a short film by underground director George Kuchar, made in 1978. Against the sounds of 50s-style orchestral music, we are introduced to Mr. Kuchar in his apartment feeding his dog Bocko. He tells Bocko the history of his dog. They reminisce about his time in New York City with the dog, with the wind blowing in his ears. Kuchar's work is interesting in that it marks the birth of a kind of obsessive self-documenting - this is all too common nowadays, but in the 1970s when Kuchar was making these films, it was much more difficult. It is also interesting that he was able to fuse this self-documenting with a self-referential camp aesthetic. 

These reminiscences of the past with his dog are supplemented with photos from his time in New York. In addition to the section of the film where Kuchar is talking to his dog, we are also treated to additional footage of the dog wandering around. In particular, Kuchar recounts bringing Bocko to the lake to a lake while they were moving to San Francisco from New York. This is set to a 50s-style musical piece about traveling to California - "Golden California". These self-referential musical choices add a funny and campy aesthetic to the entire film. 

Kuchar recalls the time that Bocko met a horse for the first time. He accompanies this with footage of the meeting, along with the continued "Golden California" song. The Mongreloid is a charming film, especially for pet owners and anyone who has had an aging pet. Bocko is a tired old dog, and Kuchar's tribute to his dog is humorous and warm. Kuchar had an immensely prolific career and has 249 directorial credits on IMDb. The Mongreloid is a good film for those getting into his work for the first time. 



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