The Found Footage Festival features odd scraps of video uncovered in thrift stores, yard sales, and trash bins. Anyone can throw this sort of event, and do it terribly. But curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have been at it since 1991, and their collection, from fast-food training videos to home movies to exercise videos (one by ex-porn star Traci Lords, who appears to be getting laid, not fit), is as weird as they come.
Standouts include Carnival in Rio, a travel video starring a young, frisky Arnold Schwarzenegger. "The Brazilians think a central part of the woman is the ass," a woman exclaims, and Arnold is off and running, establishing his position (he's with the Brazilians) and proceeding to grab every jiggling ass on the dance floor while smiling like Augustus Gloop in Wonka's candy forest. Later he teaches a woman English by employing a carrot. "This is 'biting,'" he says, biting the carrot. She bites the carrot. Then Arnold makes her suck the carrot. The scene cuts before they disrobe.
Another curious celebrity clip is Corey Haim: Me, Myself, and I, which Haim made for his fans in 1989, and in which he comes off worse than the other Corey. Dressed in '80s trash and unforgivably cocky (and satisfyingly vapid), he shares his views on kissing (he feels as if dolphins are swimming in his bloodstream), his career plans (a desire to move from "the younger brother to the older brother, or the only brother"), and where he'd like to be in 10 years: ensconced in a mansion in Tahiti, playing with sea horses.
But all this is mere prologue for the heroic, tragic, bald Jack Rebney, pitchman for a Winnebago promotional video and master profaner at unfathomable odds with the world. In a montage of outtakes (saved by someone, thankfully, and sent to festival organizers), Jack, unable to capture the beauties of the camper and nail his lines, resorts to crisp, articulated bursts of "Shit," "Fuck," "Shit," "Fuck." "I've got to read it again because my mind is a piece of shit," he says at one point, in delightful exposition. Other outbursts include, "What the fuck did I say?," "Goddamn son of a bitch," and "Fuck off!" Nearing the end, hunkered down in a Winnebago's front cab and utterly defeated, poor Jack is a mirror of Coppola in Hearts of Darkness. "It ain't worth it," he croaks out, slicked with sweat. "Not this shit ... it ain't fucking worth it."
The Found Footage Festival plays nightly at 8 and 10 at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $10; call 863-1087 or visit foundfootagefestival.com.
-- Michael Leaverton
From the Freedom Band
The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, the first openly -- pause for acronym -- GLBTIQQ music organization (the IQQ part stands for intersex/questioning/queer), presents "No Strings Attached: A Symphonic Sampler for Band," featuring songs by Bernstein, Respighi, and Holst. Catch a free show by this pioneering group, founded by Jon Sims in 1978 in the midst of Anita Bryant's anti-gay rants, on its 25th anniversary. The concert starts at 8 p.m. in the Herbert Hoover Middle School Auditorium, 2290 14th Ave. (at Rivera), S.F. Call 255-1355 or visit www.sflgfb.org.
-- Michael Leaverton
Free Dinner Where?
If you had a brief moment to talk to an elected official, what would you say? Would you rant or plead or praise? Local artist Sara Thustra interviewed friends and made paintings, installations, and more from the results; he calls the show "Free Dinner." The opening reception starts at 5 p.m. Friday (and the exhibit continues through Oct. 14) in Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's office, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (at Fulton), S.F. Admission is free; call 554-7630.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
"We're electronic artists who have huge respect for people who are analog," says DJ Tapan Raj of New Delhi duo MIDIval PunditZ: That's one of the hallmarks of interesting DJs, if you ask us. Tapan's partner, Gaurav Raina, must agree, because the pair's new record, MIDIval Times, mixes accomplished musicians into the smooth Indian-inspired beats; foremost among them is sitar royalty Anoushka Shankar. The two DJs are best known for having a song included on the Monsoon Wedding soundtrack, but find out what they can do live starting at 10 p.m. at Ten 15 Folsom, 1015 Folsom (at Seventh Street), S.F. Admission is $15-20; visit www.1015.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser