As a moving image archivist and profound fan of VHS tapes, when I heard about the Found Footage Festival I grew very excited.
For many, I think the comic factor is attractive. And that is understandable. But that’s not why I was thrilled. I didn’t get excited because the on-coming works to be shown seemed cheesy or ironically “awesome, dude.”
I wasn’t ready to support this show simply because it featured thousands of work-out tapes of the 80s that had been rediscovered in thrift-shops all over the United States, or because it was ready to seemingly exploit weird and wild home-made after-hours “Buy this! It’s only $99.99!” Mr. Popeil-style programs.
The Found Footage Festival, founded and curated by Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher got me because it was a film festival generated by the same confidence and love for visual media that San Francisco Guardian critic and Castro programmer Jesse Hawthorne Ficks has discussed at length when he has railed against the modern viewer’s concept of “neo-sincerity” and the damage that this has done to pure enjoyment of the visual text. It is what I mentioned when I talked about the uniquely new concept of non-ironically loving what others seem to consider “Bad” media. When I was asked to do a list for Rupert Pupkin Speaks on Bad Movies We Love, this is what I wrote:
As an archivist, I have learned that all media has a certain importance and this festival seemed like one that would not only be entertaining (being fronted by comedians and men who genuinely love both the VHS format and the comic craft) but also fascinating to my own work as a preservationist. It spoke to me on many levels since their approach mirrors the work of Rick Prelinger and Dan Streible in certain respects. Perhaps not the same tone, but like those respected archivists, these young men have taken the Home Movie Day approach with collections of old VHS works and they have most certainly become not only connoisseurs of the craft but experts in their field. To be frank, these men can reasonably do what any archivist does with a given set of elements: assess the collection, catalog the works, then provide access. In my eyes, the Found Footage Festival is a unique and new kind of traveling archive. Yes, they give humor alongside the visuals. But these works are also reflections of an era that (most likely) many audience members now were not alive for.
Most people in the audience never owned a VCR. I OWN THREE. YES, STILL. Also, these clips, much like home movies, are like time capsules and windows into another region or era that none of us ever were part of. I will argue that this Festival is an important one. And these guys can make you laugh while you ingest important things that you didn’t even realize were important. Because it just looks like a crazy lady with an unfortunately feathered hairstyle doing yoga.
I highly recommend that you attend one, two or all of their events, as listed here. The link to where you can ACTUALLY BUY the tickets is HERE
I WILL BE AT BOTH OF THE NEW BEVERLY SHOWS. LET’S DO THIS THING!!!!!!!!!
|Wed, May 7, 2014 @ 8:30pm||Meltdown||The Meltdown||Tickets|
|Thu, May 8, 2014 @ 9:00pm||New Beverly||Vol. 7 in Los Angeles, CA||Tickets|
|Fri, May 9, 2014 @ 9:00pm||New Beverly||Vol. 7 in Los Angeles, CA||Tickets|
|Sat, May 10, 2014 @ 7:00pm||The Loft Cinema||Vol. 7 in Tucson, AZ||Tickets|
|Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 8:00pm||Spegeln||FFF in Malmö, Sweden||Tickets|
|Wed, May 21, 2014 @ 7:30pm||Cinema Neuf||FFF in Oslo, Norway||Details|
|Thu, May 22, 2014 @ 8:30pm||Bio Rio||Vol. 7 in Stockholm, Sweden||Tickets|
|Thu, Jun 5, 2014 @ 8:00pm||E Street Cinema||Vol. 7 in Washington, DC||Tickets|
|Thu, Jun 19, 2014 @ 7:30pm||Colonial Theatre||Vol. 7 in Bethlehem, NH||Tickets|
|Tue, Jun 24, 2014 @ 8:00pm||Regent Square||Vol. 7 in Pittsburgh, PA||Tickets|
|Fri, Aug 1, 2014 @ 10:00pm||Leicester Square Theatre||Vol. 7 in London||Tickets|
|Sat, Aug 2, 2014 @ 10:00pm||Leicester Square Theatre||Vol. 7 in London||Tickets|
|Tue, Aug 12, 2014 @ 8:00pm||Fine Line Music Cafe||Vol. 7 in Minneapolis, MN||Tickets|
|Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 8:00pm||The Bishop||Vol. 7 in Bloomington, IN||Details|
|Thu, Sep 11, 2014 @ 8:00pm||Lesley University||Lesley University||Details|
|Sat, Sep 20, 2014 @ 9:00pm||University of New Hampshire||University of New Hampshire||Details|