Toronto Found Footage Festival 2012 preview
The Found Footage Festival, or FFF, could change its name to WTF, and it would be an entirely appropriate moniker for the reaction you're bound to have when you walk out at the end. A combination of found video clips and live comedy courtesy of co-founders Nick Prueher (Late Show with David Letterman) and Joe Pickett (The Onion), the FFF is a one-of-a-kind touring festival arriving in Toronto on November 13 by way of Ottawa, following stop-overs in Boston, Maine and New Hampshire.
Founded in 2004 by Prueher and Pickett in New York, the FFF has gone on to sell out hundreds of shows across the U.S. and Canada, including the HBO Comedy Festival at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. The festival has been featured on National Public Radio and has been named a critic's pick in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and The Chicago Tribune.
The 2012 edition of the festival, which finds its way to The Garrison on November 13 at 7:30 p.m., promises a stranger line-up than ever before. A collection of odd and hilarious video gems discovered in dumpsters, and salvaged from thrift stores and garage sales across North America, the Found Footage Festival Volume 6 is an anthropological gem showing that, basically, as a species, humans can be really effin' weird.
It includes a clip of an American-flag-thong-wearing, masked dancer performing for a group of confused senior citizens in the 1999 Los Angeles cable show, Dancing with Frank Pacholski. Another video features a woman, "whose enthusiasm for craft sponging borders on psychotic." Known well for their "jazzercise" video finds, their new collection includes a brand new selection of found exercise tapes, including, "The Sexy Treadmill Workout." I think it's worth the price of admission just to find out how to be sexy on a treadmill.
Festival curators Prueher and Pickett host each screening in person, and provide their unique brand of observation and colour commentary to these found-video buried treasures, such as highlights from a 1996 pet care video entitled, "Ferret Fun & Fundamentals" (spoiler: the ferret gets a bath).
But what might be the best part of the night? The revelation that Prueher and Pickett were the brains behind the Kenny Strasser yo-yo pranks that hit local morning TV news shows across the Midwest and have since racked up millions of hits on YouTube.
Come out for a night of entertainment and headshaking hilarity, and you just might walk away with the urge to lighten your wallet by purchasing their new book, VHS: Absurd, Odd and Ridiculous Relics from the Videotape Era. Tickets are $13 and can be purchased online.
Writing by Gesilayefa Azorbo. Photo from 2011 FFF