Found Footage Festival: Volume 9
  • By Kate Nora
  • |
  • 26th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★

In a world where we see some form of video footage every day – on small and big screens, down on our phones, around us on animated billboards – and where we can tumble headfirst down the YouTube rabbit hole and reemerge years later not remembering where we started, you would think we would be desensitised to the whole thing. Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher are here to prove the opposite, reawakening our hearts to the wonder and joy of film making and consuming, one surprise dick at a time.

Just the right blend of second-hand embarrassment and first-hand disgust

The concept is relatively simple, but the content is extremely well researched and edited together. Pickett and Prueher claim to have been collecting and watching wacky VHS tapes since they became friends at the ripe age of ten. They are currently in their 15th year of performing the show (or some variation of it) and show no signs of slowing down. The way they track down the footage sounds like a kind of treasure hunt, and is apparently very hard to do in the UK. Our charity shops are too nice and clean.

Questions that may be asked during your time at Found Footage Festival: Volume 9 include what goes on at a hose factory? Where is Principal Belding from Saved By The Bell? Is there a tasteful way to do women’s coleslaw wrestling? And who wrote this frisbee-based German porn? Pickett and Prueher have a great eye for entertainment. Most, if not all, of the clips presented to us are just a snippet of a much longer video recording that the guys have watched over and over again. They cut the best moments, divide them into themes and give us as much context as we need to get the full picture. We get home movies, child pageants (before they were cool), daredevil stunts, public access shows and something called ‘church training’ that they’ve only just discovered.

The highlight of the show is a segment about Pickett and Prueher’s journey into the spotlight themselves. After appearing as guests on numerous morning shows in America, they decided it would be more fun to create fake characters to go in their stead. Pickett played a chef trying to popularise the concept of blending leftovers into a thick sludge, and the two men convinced several media outlets that they were official ‘strong men’. The best character, played by a friend of theirs, was the man teaching children about climate change using yo-yos. Go see the show for that footage alone!

Although the humour and references often felt more targeted at an American audience, Pickett and Prueher did a great job of using footage from the ‘80s to entertain a mostly millennial crowd. With just the right blend of second-hand embarrassment and first-hand disgust, Found Footage Festival: Volume 9 will have you calling your parents to demand they burn any home movies from your childhood. Just in case.

Reviews by Kate Nora

Traverse Theatre

Clybourne Park

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

More Myself Than I Am

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

The War of the Worlds

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Found Footage Festival: Volume 9

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Two Hearts: The Comeback Tour

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Joe Pickett (Onion) and Nick Prueher (Colbert Report) are back in Edinburgh for 10 nights only with an all-new guided tour through their latest VHS finds, including the 1987 Miss Junior America Wisconsin pageant, a mysterious tape labeled 'bonion sergery', home movies taken at a Canadian hose factory, and a fitness video called Jugglercise. Don't miss this cult Fringe hit! 'A comedy sensation' (Guardian). 'Hysterical and brilliant' (Time Out London). 'Will have you chuckling so hard you may require medical attention' (BeyondTheJoke.co.uk).

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