Don’t know Jack Rebney, the “angriest man in the world”?
Rebney, aka the “Winnebago Man,” gained a cult-like notoriety a few years back when footage from a Winnebago infomercial taping from the 1980s — essentially a dizzying number of hilarious expletive-laden outbursts — made its way into the hands of curators of the Found Footage Festival.
The clip became a popular recurring feature at the festival and eventually earned a life of its own on the Internet as a viral video.
The hotheaded Rebney is the guest of honor at this year’s Found Footage fest, which returns to the Bay Area with screenings today and Saturday at the Red Vic in San Francisco and the Parkway in Oakland.
The event, curated by Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, is a touring showcase of odd and hilarious videos collected from deep within the recesses of thrift stores, Dumpsters and maybe even from your family’s garage sale.
Rebney, deemed the “holy grail of special guests,” appears Saturday at the 7:15 p.m. Red Vic screening.
“We found Jack Rebney,” says Prueher. “We figured the guy was probably dead of an ulcer by now, if nothing else. He’s alive and for the first time ever making a public appearance. We understand that he’s not terribly excited by it and that he might hate us or punch us in the face, but we cannot wait.”
Prueher and company are eager to get inside the head of Rebney, a man so incensed in one outtake by the presence of flies that he goes as far to call one a “jackass.”
“We have so many questions for him, we don’t even know where to begin,” says Prueher.
Rebney may very well be the breakout star of the festival, but he’s not the only draw; this year’s collection boasts a scantily clad Angela Lansbury, an instructional video on how to toilet-train cats and workplace sexual harassment videos edited down to the best snippets.
With VHS becoming an extinct breed and recordings almost exclusively digital, are the festival founders concerned with eventually running out of material?
“As DVD becomes the format of choice, more and more people are dumping their VHS collections at thrift stores or in garbage cans — I don’t think we’ll ever run out,” says Prueher. “The technology changes, the format changes, but bad ideas don’t and bad execution doesn’t. As long as there are people with lots of ambition and very little talent, we’re in no danger of the well running dry.”
<strong>IF YOU GO
Found Footage Festival
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., San Francisco
When: 7:15, 9:15 p.m. today and Saturday
Contact: (415) 668-3994 or www.myspace.com/foundfootagefestival
Note: A 5 p.m. Sunday screening isat the Parkway Theater, 1834 Park Blvd., Oakland; call (510) 814-2400.