Saturday, August 19, 2006

Americaaaaaaay-yay, United Against Baby-Melting Candle-Makers Everywhere

Last night we wandered over to Bedford Avenue for the Found Footage festival presented by Rooftop Films. These guys spend their time rooting in thrift shops, dumpsters, HR offices and other spots for old footage that people would rather forget, and put them all together into a sort of montage. It sounded like it would be good, maybe along the lines of what the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players do with their found footage, and since we're both Super 8 film nerds, we were also hoping there'd be some of that kind of thing in there. There wasn't - the sixteen they screened were all strictly of the 1980s VCR variety, not to mention of the freakin' hilarious variety. This was all the kind of stuff that those involved would probably prefer to be destroyed...in fact, when it comes to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the "I'm coming day and night" bodybuilding movie, Pumping Iron (1979), forget the "probably". When his career turned from pumping to politics, Arnie tried to ban the screening of this footage, apparently, but he didn't succeed. Personally, I think he should have been more worried about Carnival in Rio, from 1983, a travel guide to Rio hosted by Arnie in which he loses the run of himself somewhat, gleefully pawing every bit of naked "mulatto" ass he can get his hands on, and giving his female co-host an English lesson which necessitates her to suck slowly on the carrot in his hand...you've got to see this.

There were other gems in there too, chief among them How to Seduce Women Through Hypnosis (1983), which seemed to be an entirely sincere guide to basically raping a woman by putting her in a phony trance; Strong Kids, Safe Kids (1984), a well-intentioned educational video teaching children about how to keep the bad guys away from their "private parts" and starring Henry Winkler in character as the Fonz (and featuring the genius that is the Proper Words Song); and a medley of patriotic videos by gleefully insane people, my favourite of which doesn't even have the excuse of dating from the '80s but was made last year by someone called Denis Madalone. You can experience its joys, tears and stars-and-striped-infused waters here. It'll make you cry. With happiness that you don't live here. Or with terror that you do.

Oh, and while you're at it, get yourself some unhinged preacher men: Wayne David Meyer and Jonathan Bell (the later swiped from a Daily Show clip).

4 comments:

Stellanova said...

Oh wow, that sounds brilliant. My boyfriend's band recently supported the Trachtenburg family, and they (the family, although Patsington wasn't bad either) were fantastic. P and I kept beaming at each other and whispering "this is the GREATEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN" at the show's high points. I even got a fabulous TFSP shopping bag, handmade by the family themselves, which is both very cute and very useful. P's best friend, on the other hand, absolutely loathed the show. The fool.

hesitant hack said...

Dammit! I missed them in Galway, and I just found out that I missed them here last week, and now they're off on a U.S. tour that looks like it's going to stretch into 2008...but I bet the Galway gig would have been good. Was that where he was supporting them? Or did I miss them somewhere else in Ireland too? Please say no...

Stellanova said...

I'm afraid you did! It was in the Sugar Club, about three weeks ago.

hesitant hack said...

gaaaaHHHH!!!