While "Repo! The Genetic Opera" proved to me once again that life isn't all flowers and sausages, my weekend's film-viewing activities were by no means all duds. A dear friend of the Empire recommended that I take in a viewing of "the Found Footage Festival," a combination comedy revue and clip show that had me laughing till I nearly ruptured at least two vital organs.
"The Found Footage Festival" is ninety minutes of sublimely simple and brilliantly hilarious fun. Comedians Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have been collecting oddball videocasettes for almost two decades, nabbing every corporate training video, exercise tape, and public access television show that comes across their path. Their genius rests in their ability to sort through countless hours of dreck to pluck out the meaty morsels that wind up on-screen during the FFF. Most of us have seen sexual harassment training tapes at work--few of us would have the desire to watch dozens of them, and select all the clips in which the following Henny-Youngman-like couplet was uttered:
Worker: "Did you want anything, boss?"
Boss: "Sure I do--but we can talk about that later."
Who but Joe and Nick would realize that this exchange takes place in nearly EVERY sexual harassment training video? That's commitment to an artform, people.
The clips are organized into several segments--from the aforementioned sexual harassment montage to the "Hunks" footage (taken from such classics as "Playgirl's Hunkercize") to some truly staggering public access clips including the unforgettable MIKENASTICS, seen here in his training video:
The FFF guys seem to have a great deal of affection for their quirky subjects. Sure, they're poking fun at the various crazies featured in their film clips, but it doesn't really cross the line into mean-spiritedness. They celebrate the weirdness around them rather than taking an attitude of snarky superiority.
Enjoy a clip from the FFF here (and maybe learn a little something about how to seduce women through hypnosis at the same time):
Oh--related to the FFF, one of the programs featured is an AWESOMELY INSANE dance program out of Chicago titled "Chic-a-go-go". If anybody from the Windy City feels like being my hero, please go on the show, boogie like there's no tomorrow, and know that I envy and adore you.
Check out the FFF MySpace page for upcoming dates around the U.S. and in Canada.