Without the wonders of obscure VHS tapes discovered in thrift stores, dumpsters, and abandoned houses, we wouldn’t have the unique comic style of Tim and Eric, recent “found footage” films like Chronicle(pretty good) and V/H/S(pretty terrible) — nor, more importantly, would we have the roving annual fantasticness of the Found Footage Festival. Without the FFF, we wouldn’t have the stupendous 2011 documentary Winnebago Man, the story of Jack Rebney, RV pitchman, and the world’s angriest flubber of lines. In that film, director Ben Steinbauer becomes obsessed with viral videos of Rebney sourced from VHS tapes that were widely circulated long before they were posted to YouTube. The infectious obsessiveness that led Steinbauer to make Winnebago Man might also be attributed to the trio behind the Found Footage Festival. Since 2004, instructional videos, outtakes, obscure music videos, public access footage, misbegotten PSAs, and other oddities have been fodder for Joe Pickett, Nick Prueher, and Geoff Haas’ touring show, which combines screenings, live commentary by comedians, and special appearances by invited guests. The festival hovers between a live variation of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and channel-changing at the tail end of an all-night bender. Expect sell-out crowds.
Dec. 14-16, 2012