Boy, to be a fly on the wall for some of those teen conversations about liver wellness.
Been in the UK two weeks and I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of British VHS. These tapes are a good start.
Cricket bloopers and Cliff Richard on the Beach. We’re not in Kansas anymore. (We’re in Scotland.)
We’re dusting off our NTSC-to-PAL VHS converters and heading to the UK for a 10-city tour to celebrate the Found Footage Festival’s 10th anniversary. We start in Glasgow on 22nd July and end with a two-night engagement in London on 1st and 2nd August as part Brooklyn Brewery MASH. Mark your calendars and book your tickets early! These shows will sell out.
Tues. 22nd July – 9pm – Glasgow – Grosvenor Cinema – Tickets
Weds. 23rd July – 9pm – Edinburgh – Filmhouse – Tickets
Thurs 24th July – 9pm – Liverpool – Picturehouse at FACT – Tickets
Fri 25th July – 9pm – Leeds – Hyde Park Picture House – Tickets
Sat 26th July – 8pm – Manchester – Gorilla – Tickets
Mon 28th July – 8:30pm – Birmingham – Electric Cinema – Tickets
Tues 29th July – 9pm – Nottingham – Broadway Cinema – Tickets
Weds 30th July – 9pm – Bristol – Watershed – Tickets
Thurs 31st July – 9pm – Oxford – Ultimate Picture Palace – Tickets
Fri 1st August – 10pm – London – Leicester Square Theatre – Tickets
Sat 2nd August – 10pm – London – Leicester Square Theatre - Tickets
“The biggest collection of weird videos I’ve ever seen.” –Jimmy Fallon
“Hysterical and brilliant.” – Time Out London
“A comedy sensation.” –The Guardian
Among the new clips featured in the 2014 program:
• A new exercise video montage featuring a Christmas-themed workout, a martial arts fitness regimen called “Tiger Moves,” and a tape called “Butt Camp”
• Newly unearthed footage of the world’s most obnoxious home shopping hosts, John & Johnny (c. 1987), and the long-awaited reunion orchestrated by the FFF curators
• Exclusive footage of the Chef Keith news prank the curators pulled on news stations in the Midwest over the holidays.
• A bizarre instructional video from 1997 with the redundant title, “How to Have Cybersex on the Internet”
We were pretty thrilled when, while celebrating another Thursday night by sitting on the couch watching TV, we tuned into the opening of Comedy Central game show @Midnight to catch host Chris Hardwick introduce a “VHS-tastic” Found Footage Festival clip featuring NBA stars of the ’80s teaching teens about the value of abstinence. Here, see for yourself.
It is always great to discover another VHS hoarder like us. Cartoonist Max Winston collects some pretty awful-awesome VHS tapes and scans them to his VHS Cover Junkie Tumbler. Some of these we have, others we look forward to one day finding out there somewhere.
VHS Cover Junkie posts hi-res scans taken from his wide collection of gaudy, tacky, yet strangely alluring video covers. These are the kind of VHS tapes once found in the bargain bin of the local Blockbuster in the 1980s, where the lurid covers, slightly frayed or worn, and decorated with reduced-in-price tags, often had little to do with the films’ content.
In this small selection, you will find some curiosities like James Spader in the cheesyTuff Turf—“where reputations are earned”; The Band’s Robbie Robertson alongside Jodie Foster and Gary Busey in Carny; Ethan Coen’s The Naked Man; Harry Dean Stanton and Sean Young in Young Doctors in Love, and Motel Hell where “it takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent’s fritters.”
Immerse yourself in the gaudy world of VHS Cover Junkie.
We’re excited to announce that Found Footage Festival has joined up with Brooklyn Brewery again this year and will appear in 12 American and European cities as part of The Brooklyn Brewery Mash, America’s largest traveling food and arts festival. The Mash is a week of parties, comedy, concerts, pup-up supperclubs and readings, all featuring humanity’s favorite beverage.
Our friends Jeff Krulik and John Heyn, producers of the legendary Heavy Metal Parking Lot, have something to be proud of this week. The 1986 short “doc” about a bunch of heavy metal fans hanging out in the parking lot before a Judas Priest concert in Maryland has been turned into a drinking game by the folks at Indiewire/SnagFilms. It gets better. They’ve also created a quiz to find out which Heavy Metal fan you are: Dave, Graham (like a gram of dope), Scab Chick, Glen Burnie Girl, Kill Em All Dude, Red Bandana Guy, Zebra Man or Air Guitar Guy. Take the quiz here.
We here at Found Footage Festival were heartened to read this article from The Atlantic. Did you know that 58% of Americans still have a VCR in their home. Read the full article here. And God bless America!
Last month, partly in preparation for the Consumer Electronics Show taking place in Vegas this week, Gallup polled Americans about the technologies they use in their homes. It then compared its findings to Americans’ responses to the same questions posed to them in 2005.
Some of the takeaways: Cable TV has the same penetration in 2013—68 percent—as it did in 2005. Some 45 percent of Americans retain their non-smartphone cells. Some 73 percent of them have wifi in their homes—which, given Pew’s 2013 finding that 85 percent of Americans have used the Internet at all, seems extraordinarily high.
One other stat that seems high: 58 percent of Americans still have a VCR in their homes. This number is declining (in 2005, 88 percent said the same thing), but it’s worth noting nonetheless: Even as Blockbuster closes, even as DVDs and Blu-rays and streamed-from-the-cloud videos have superseded the humble cassette tape, more than half of Americans are holding on to their VHS players. Likely this is because of one of the inefficiencies of analog tech: Things being things, if you have a VHS tape you want played, you will need a VCR to do the playing. Those home movies from 1987 aren’t going to play themselves.
VCRs’ half life might also have to do with the fact that, as machines, they aren’t that big—easily tucked away in a garage or basement or attic.
There’s also the outlying theory that people invested so much time into programming their VCRs—figuring out, for example, how to get its clock to stop claiming that it’s always 12:00—that they were particularly loathe to part with them.
Regardless, Gallup’s finding is a reminder that, despite our collective obsession with innovation, even gadgets that are decidedly un-innovative remain with us long after our romance with them ends. They stay, if not in our hearts, then in our homes—mostly unused, maybe, but not discarded.
Here’s a new but old video that is near and dear to our hearts. We taped this show, “Disney World: One Kid’s Opinion,” off local public access TV in high school (c. 1992) and got obsessed with it. I can’t tell you how many quotes from DW:OKO have worked their way into our daily vocabularies (“I love it, I love it…oh yes, I love it,” “A robot who’s never flown before”). We recently had the honor of welcoming the “kid,” Mark (age 34), to our show in Madison, WI, and he was charming, funny, and kind enough to reenact his famous eye roll for a packed crowd. We’ve made an animated gif of the original eye roll (below) that you can share with anyone who happens to be annoying you. Enjoy and have a 5-Mickey day!