Watching the Weird, Wacky and Downright Bizarre: Found Footage Film Fest at Largo on Tuesday
Remember those silly educational videos that we were forced to watch in school about the dangers of sex, drugs and/or rock and roll? Or if you're in the business world, there's always the requisite sexual harassment training or earthquake preparedness videos that Human Resources forces workers to endure. Those types of films and videos—not to mention bizarre late-night cable access shows—have become essentials to "found footage" collectors.
LA has a chance to watch an evening of these off-kilter films when the Found Footage Festival comes to Largo on Tuesday night as part of a 75-city tour of the US, Canada and the UK. Festival curators and hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett promise a screening filled with gems found at garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses and dumpsters throughout North America.
Opening the show is a 25th anniversary screening of the legendary short documentary and cult classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Directors Jeff Krulik and John Heyn preserved a piece of mid-80s Americana when they cruised through a parking lot before a 1986 Judas Priest concert and interviewed teen headbangers in all their eloquent glory.
We shot Prueher a couple questions via email about the festival and its origins:
LAist: In your opinion, what is the most off-the-wall piece we're likely to see on Tuesday?
Nick Prueher (co-curator and host, Found Footage Festival): By the far the weirdest footage you'll see is a video we found in Chicago last year called Rent-A-Friend. It's this guy sitting in an easy chair asking you questions about yourself and offering to be your friend for an hour. I guess this was intended for lonely people with VCRs. Anyway, it's starts off fairly normal but by the end of the hour the guy has run out of things to talk about and he starts opening up in ways he never should have. It's a fascinating train wreck.
LAist: What was it about finding the McDonald's training video Inside and Outside Custodial Duties that got you hooked into the found footage/industrial film scene?
NP: It was simply the most insulting dumb thing I had ever seen. As if it wasn't demeaning enough to be a janitor at McDonald's, they made you sit through this video that tried to have a cute little plot about a trainee's first day on the job. The overly perky crew trainer told him that if he scrubbed the floors extra hard, he could see "McC," which I guess stood for "McDonald's clean." This was a billion dollar corporation and this was the best stuff they could come up with.
Prueher was kind enough to send us a little teaser for one of the videos being shown on Tuesday. Check it out below. It's called When Irish Eyes are Smiling:
Found Footage Festival
Tuesday, March 1 @ Largo at the Coronet
366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
8 pm doors