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Preview: Found Film Festival 6

Will Coviello on the fest that scrapes the bottom of the VHS barrel

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  Found Footage Festival curators Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett have been collecting VHS tapes since 1991 and are known for compiling montages of the best scenes from the worst workout videos, training videos and infomercials and presenting outtakes from the most eccentric of community programming and other odd projects recorded for posterity. The mix of embarrassing and strange scenes come from goofy amateur videos, low-budget, lesser celebrity projects and individuals ranting to the camera.

  The duo are on tour with Volume 6 of their collection, and it has great clips of cheery, get-rich-quick advisers, workout videos featuring B-list celebrities and naked people, and tapes for children, including a potty training video with a reggae-beat theme song. The material gets more awkward in a series of videos warning children against suspicious strangers, all of which feature creepy hosts like Blueberry the Clown. But Volume 6 delves into really offbeat finds in a pair of how-to videos (Hand Made Love, Finger Tips) meant to help developmentally challenged people learn how to masturbate and to do so with appropriate privacy. On a more bizarre front, they found two tapes featuring Frank Pacholski dancing for a small audience of senior citizens. For his performance art piece, Pacholski wears only a Speedo-like suit with an American flag design, and in a food-themed dance, he shares the suit with a plucked, raw chicken. These videos were so fascinating to Prueher and Pickett that they tracked him down for an interview, and that footage is included as well.

  The tape shows have included more of their own filmed segments in recent volumes, and here they reveal that they are the pranksters behind viral videos that featured a bogus yo-yo expert who got booked on morning TV programs, on which he excelled at creating awkward moments but couldn't do a single yo-yo trick.

  There also are more brilliantly banal video segments, including how to care for a ferret or massage a possum. Dubiously talented musicians offer instrument lessons, craft enthusiasts get a little too excited about their materials and religiously inspired video preachers offer enlightenment. The live shows also include extra videos not on the DVDs. — Will Coviello

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