I had two main thoughts as I left the annual tour of the Found Footage Festival at Seattle's Central Cinema last night: that late '70s/80's/early '90s fashion was as godawful as I remembered it to be, and that people are really damn odd. I also had a third thought, which was that my face hurt from laughing so much during the 2-hour presentation. I was lucky to have scored tickets to the sold-out 10PM show -- the 7PM show sold out as well, and I could imagine the FFF selling out a far larger venue, although I totally enjoyed the intimacy of Central Cinema and its yummy food and beer and very friendly staff. The people behind me in line to get in made sounds of severe devastation when they saw the "SOLD OUT!" sign on the door: "Aw, duuuude......NOOO!!!! Oh WOW! This is, like, not happening to me right now!" along with many curses and frustrated exclamation grunts.

I can understand the angst. The Found Footage Festival, if you are unaware of its fine function, is a creation of funny fellows Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher (oh fine fine, I'll stop with the friggin' F's. FINE.) Joe and Nick began collecting "unintentionally funny" VHS tapes in the '90s, usually salvaged from thrift stores, warehouses, garage sales, and the garbage -- strange instructional/training videos on any number of topics (exercise, hunting, workplace safety, massage, pet care, you name it), celebrity career nadir moments, cable access weirdos, marketing for bizarre products...anyone one-off nutcase that could make a video back in the VHS days seemed to, which makes for a fountain of freak-fun for film fans (SORRY! OK? DON'T JUDGE ME!). Joe and Nick wade through thousands of hours of mind-bending bizarros to bring FFF attendees the very best moments -- head-shakingly, thigh-slappingly, jaw-droppingly hilarious stuff. The duo stands onstage and presents each subset of clips, and they are funny, too. Hoo eeee!

I came across the Found Footage Festival via the wonderful "Winnebago Man" film, which was released  last year. (AS POPTHOMOLOGY READERS MAY KNOW *COUGH COUGH*, my strange and spontaneous urge to write a tribute song & video in honor of found footage hero and Supreme Master Of Cursing, Jack Rebney, ended up with me meeting WM producer Joel Heller and attending a taping of the Tonight Show. My homemade mess is now living on the "Accoutrama" page of "Winnebago Man" film site. I love those guys.) FFF is featured prominently in "Winnebago Man," and Jack Rebney's reluctant appearance at a San Francisco FFF tour stop with Joe and Nick is the turning point in the movie. I figured if Found Footage Festival found Jack, they were bound to have more amazing stuff, and they sure did. I laughed the entire time, except for when I was eating or drinking, because that's a choking hazard.

AND! As I sat waiting for the show to begin, what ON EARTH comes on over the PA? "Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi" by Jacques Dutronc! WOW! What relative synchronicity! Hee.

What a truly entertaining night. If you can go, GO GO GO and don't be late like those sorry-ass hipsters behind me -- GET THOSE TICKETS RIGHT AWAY! Here's the rest of the Found Footage Festival tour schedule for 2011 as of this writing:

Sat May 21, 2011 7:30pm            Laurelhurst Theater            Portland, OR  
Sat May 21, 2011 9:30pm            Laurelhurst Theater            Portland, OR  
Sun May 22, 2011 8:00pm            Bijou Art Cinemas            Eugene, OR    
Wed Jun 8, 2011 8:00pm            Rialto Theatre            Raleigh, NC    
Thu Jun 9, 2011 8:00pm            The Grey Eagle            Asheville, NC 
Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:00pm            McKnight Theatre            Charlotte, NC 
Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:45pm            The Idiot Box            Greensboro, NC        
Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:30pm            Boulder Theater            Boulder, CO  
Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:45pm            Denver FilmCenter            Denver, CO     
Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:00pm            Denver FilmCenter            Denver, CO     
Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:00pm            The Kress Cinema            Greeley, CO  
Thu Sep 8, 2011 8:00pm            Maryland Inst. College of Art            Baltimore, MD          
Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:00pm            Urbana University            Urbana, OH

You can also visit the FFF site and buy previous FFF shows on DVD, which you should because it's all comedy GOLD. My little gift to you here today is the short that opened last night's show: "Heavy Metal Parking Lot." I'm not going to say any more. Nope. Not me. Other than it brought back LONG SUPPRESSED AND UNWANTED MEMORIES. Please to F-IN' ENJOY! (NSFW, btw)

Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Part One

Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Part Two