Found Footage Festival: The Best of the Midwest Preview

Found-Footage-Festival 75This isn’t about the important men from Hollywood laughing at us Midwesterners.

Found-Footage-Festival 500

In 2011 and 2012, I reviewed those respective years’ editions of Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher’s increasingly fun Found Footage Festival. This year they’re coming back, but I don’t have the advantage of having seen the program before you all get to — the slate they’re doing this time around is so new, they haven’t yet been able to compile a DVD of it. To briefly go over what to expect of a Found Footage Festival, Pickett and Prueher tour the country pretty near constantly, and while they’re touring they hit up any old place that might have some weird old VHS tapes, and then their shows consist of them screening the best of the goofy shit they find. That is to say, once you get accustomed to the way the FFF operates, you kind of begin to know what to expect when you go to one; it doesn’t have to be so much about me “reviewing” it in the traditional sense, but more a matter of me telling you just how good that year’s edition is. (Yes, there is a distinction to be made there.)

Meanwhile, this year’s edition has a theme, which should hopefully help to sell you on going: It’s their ‘Best of the Midwest’ show, and consists only of videos they picked up in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, or Minnesota. Pickett and Prueher originally hail from Wisconsin, too, so this isn’t about the important men from Hollywood laughing at us Midwesterners.

Since it’s a ‘best of’ show, not all of the footage they’re screening is brand new, though some of it is. There are some classics on the program, including the alarming “Rent-A-Friend” tape that they screened part of in the show they did here in April of 2011. But even if you’ve been to all of the shows they’ve done here in St. Louis in the past few years, there should be enough new stuff to keep your craving for new, weird videos sated.

And aside from the continuing quality of the shows over the years, the Found Footage Festival also always offers a good excuse to go to the Mad Art Gallery in Soulard, which is my favorite space in St. Louis for events like this. It’s an old jailhouse that’s been converted into an art gallery, and it automatically makes you cooler just by stepping in the front door. | Pete Timmermann

This year’s edition of the Found Footage Festival is at the Mad Art Gallery (2727 S. 12th St. in Soulard) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Admission is $12 in advance, or $13 at the door. For more information, to buy advance tickets, buy other stuff, or to just check out some videos, visit

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