No region of the nation has a monopoly on awkward, unintentionally funny videos, but the Midwestern sensibility does lend something special to Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher's long-running Found Footage Festival tour. Now entering its fourth volume on DVD and nearing the fifth anniversary of its first tour, the FFF shares a certain backtalk-heavy "what the hell is this" approach with the B-movie rubberneckers of Minnesota's own MST3K, but focuses more on the long-lost detritus of VHS-borne illnesses: public access TV, discarded home movies, inane celebrity vanity projects, workplace training videos, and anything else they may have dug out from beneath the knee-high stacks of Jerry Maguire videotapes at thrift stores across the country. The live Found Footage Fest events are an exercise in shared mortification and alarmed, almost disbelieving comedy, an amazing trip through a camcorder-shot world that self-consciousness forgot. Joe and Nick found many of their greatest hits during their time in the Midwest, including a popular recurring series of gruesome yet awkward Minnesota-filmed insurance-company safety PSAs and (debuting with this tour) a couple of music videos from a Minneapolis hair-metal band, so don't be surprised to catch a few flashes of embarrassed local recognition at tonight's show.
Thu., Dec. 10, 7 & 9 p.m., 2009