Found Footage Festival

There’s a strong current of ’80s nostalgia running through the clips included in the Found Footage Festival, but that decade is a VHS gold mine of infomercials, workout videos, big hair, spandex, and worthless dating advice. It’s a period that curators Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett—who don’t appear with the traveling show—treat with equal parts affection and mockery. (No surprise, they list The Onion and Letterman show on their résumés.) With bad cartoons, ESL instructional videos, and heavy metal home movies on the program, these artifacts scream sincerity. They lack the irony and self-awareness of our YouTube age, when everyone from the age of three realizes their behavior might be recorded on camera. We weren’t always acting. Remember when dating was so much simpler—before Craigslist casual encounters or David Cross provides the narration for some video personals ads from 1987, and their lack of guile is almost touching—more honest than anyone you’d meet today on the Web. BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Dec. 3, 7, 9 & 11 p.m., 2009

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