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As far as I’m concerned, the Found Footage Festival doesn’t come to the San Francisco Bay Area often enough. This assemblage of the most peculiar remnats of the VHS age is more than just a terrific comedy show, complete with context and commentary provided by co-founders Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, it’s also an excercise in cultural antrhopology, and I’m not kidding. Exercise videos by the most unilikely of hosts, an introduction to virtual sex with a dubiously entitled “How to Have Sex in Cyberspace on the Internet” and other such kitchsy ephermera recall the innocent excitement of an era when viewers took control of what they watched and when in the privacy of their own homes.
When I spoke with Prueher by phone on December 2, 2014, we covered those topics, as well as how the festival is received in Europe, what it’s like to track down the video stars of the show, including the Winnegago Man himself, Jack Rebney, and Preuher’s alter ego, a pranking chef named Keith. Smart, funny, and devoted to his niche in the festival circuit without taking it or himself too seriously, Prueher once again kept me laughing and wondering what I was in for when the fest hits San Francisco on December 10 and 11.
THE FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL is a celebration of the peculiar, the funny, and sometimes the deeply disturbing videos discovered in thrift stores, garage sales, and dumpsters by festival founders Prueher and Joe Pickett, who are onstage to provide an insightful and therapeutic context to the clips that they have crafted into a dazzling array of ephemera. They are also on hand to introduce the clips, that over the years have included a joyous rediscovery and mainstreaming of the infamous WINNEGABO MAN clip starring Jack Rebney as a man having the worst day of his life, a clip that went on to inspire a documentary of the same name. This is their tenth annual festival, touring with a rigorous schedule throughout the United States, and as always there are segments on home-instruction of all types, and the infamous exercise video montage, as well as tips on how to have cybersex on the internet.
Click here to check out the Found Footage Festival’s web site.
Click the link to listen to the interview (20:28) THE FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL — Nick Prueher Interview.