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film still from Found Footage Festival

Found photographs and objects have been making waves in the art world for some time now. Dadaist Marcel Duchamp horrified admirers of classical art with his “readymade” piece entitled “Fountain” that challenged definitions of what makes art really art by exhibiting a urinal. Hmmm, I wonder what statement he was trying to make. Found photographs on the other hand, although less threatening, have been heavily featured in the creative works of numerous artists from aspiring art school rebels to established figures of the untouchable aesthete. It’s safe to say that this found phenomenon is old news–“Fountain” made its debut almost 100 years ago in 1917–but thanks to the Found Footage Festival–which comes to the Bay Area on October 5–this tried-and-true artistic tradition gets a much needed humorous kick in the pants.


film still from Found Footage Festival

The festival, which is curated by comedic auteurs Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, whose credits include the Late Show with David Letterman and The Colbert Report, features an hour’s worth of random video clips that range from a hilarious exercise video with a ’90s celebrity (think “Good Vibrations” the song, not the store), creepy infomercials and home videotapes that verge on the bizarre. All of the outlandish footage for the festival was gathered by Prueher and Pickett–who have been collecting videos since 1991–at garage sales, thrift stores, dumpsters and other unexpected outlets all over the country and then is cleverly compiled to them make a new form of found art and a revolutionary new genre of film. Come to the Found Footage Festival and witness the cinematic version of Duchamp’s urinal, and I mean that in a good way.

The Found Footage Festival: “ A Celebration of Odd and Hilarious Found Videos”
Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6
Red Vic Movie House 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
7:15 and 9:15 p.m., tickets $8.50

 
curators of the Found Footage Festival Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett

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