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Foxfur (2012)

 -  Fantasy  -  21 July 2012 (USA)
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Credited cast:
I. Elijah Baughman ...
John Bekolay ...
M.A.S.H. & Alien Cholo
Theater Manager
Bob Ellis ...
Bob Lazar
Stanley Griego ...
John Karyus ...
Rigg Kennedy ...
Cassandra Nuss ...
Tessie Tracy ...


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Beyond 1982 There Lies Another World





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21 July 2012 (USA)  »

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$500,000 (estimated)

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The "Black Slime" in the sky that appeared in the sky was a visual effect sequence designed and directed by actor Khris Kaneff. See more »

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User Reviews

Foxfur: The Evil Brain of Damon Packard
1 May 2014 | by (New England) – See all my reviews

Damon Packard is the most unique indie filmmaker working today. He juggles style, genre and time period brilliantly in order to create wholly post-modern melodramas at the home-movie level, insightful fantasy-tinged narratives unlike anything else being made today. Packard's films deal with the "new middle class," the poor, deranged peasants, the 98% forgotten and/or exploited by the ruling elite. Everyone in Packard's universe - as in the world today - lives in his/her own protective reality bubble, which may or may not overlap with another person's reality bubble. There is no longer any point of common intellectual or spiritual ground between humans, and when consensus reality becomes erased, the fantastic becomes mundane. Thus, a Packard heroine may calmly observe waves of black ectoplasm weaving through the morning sky and be completely unclear as to whether it is a hallucination from her troubled mind, or a manifestation from a parallel reality. As "reality" no longer has any common basis of shared experience, all experience may be seen as the revelation of a metaphysical savant, a true "seer," or the mental hiccups of a hopeless nut. Packard's heroes are all the slackers, losers, burn-outs and loonies who can't make it in the "real" world - because nobody knows what is "real" anymore. Yet these sad sacks neither can die, so they suffer the torments of existence in a very concrete hell-scape - the barren, soulless strip-mall "reality" of modern America.

Foxfur is Packard's masterpiece - it clarifies and distills everything which has gone before. Rarely before has an indie filmmaker with such meager resources come up with such a convincingly coherent alternate universe, one wholly surreal yet immediately recognizable. In Foxfur, Packard also creates his most indelible "character," re-painting the post-modern tragic heroine as a mentally-ill, homeless bum, whose truly tragic aspect is that she is nonetheless young, attractive and popular. The lesson is brutal: if a "cute young thing" like Foxfur cannot make it in this brave new world of erased consensus reality, whom can? Yet Foxfur is a "character" only in that she is a recurring narrative anchor within different segments of the film, for Packard's brilliant conceit is to cast the titular character with several different actresses, each "Foxfur" dutifully carrying on her predecessor's expositional duties, while becoming her "own" version of Packard's intriguing melodramatic chimera. Two points are made with this daring, exciting trope - one, that all "Foxfurs" - that is, young women looking for meaning in life - are entirely interchangeable, one easily replacing the other as a societal "type" occurring with stultifying repetition in anywhere U.S.A. Yet another point confronts the first in an intriguing, problematic way. Although ostensibly the "same" person dropped into in a different setting, each "Foxfur" not only looks different (understandable as each is played by a different person), but has a profoundly different personality, a distinctive approach to connecting with the world. One Foxfur is a thinker, one is a cursed neurotic, one is a fearless warrior, one is a searcher for truth, etc. The overarching point is that each person - although they may look like a clone of everybody else - is a singular, unique individual with specific talents, desires and fears, and with a specific life trajectory. Foxfur states unequivocally that even in a mass society the individual is sacred, even if the recipient of that dubious honor sees themselves as just another flop in a sea of losers.

Foxfur meditates brilliantly on the everyday torments of modern urban life. In this post-modern hellscape, random encounters lead to shocking epiphanies, and the quietest moment can lurch suddenly into graphic violence. The explosive nature of modern culture is consistently expressed by one of Packard's indelible archetypes - the obese, frustrated American male, his teetering always on the verge of violence. In short, civilization in the Packard universe is a horrible, comical stalemate, in which nobody gets anywhere, yet spends all their waking hours trying. Overriding all this is a dark reality as bleak as it is farcical - the complete absence of an abiding, coherent reality, a stiflingly phony world lacking meaning or history. In this sterile purgatory, nothing is known or knowable - a horrific existential clown show in which idiots bump into each other and apologize, "Do you know where I am supposed to be?" Foxfur's world is a murky inferno of lost souls, in which one character can sincerely ask another, "Why are you in a wheelchair?", while the other can honestly sigh, "I don't know..." Yet the most extraordinary revelation in Foxfur is that the world "as you know it" ended in 1982. Not in a grimly existential way, of course

  • we still live, breathe, eat and sleep (or at least we think we do) -

but in a spiritual, metaphysical sense, which any sensitive soul who was alive in the early 1980s could sense clearly. What changed in 1982 was something intangible, and certainly not something which could be easily chronicled. What changed in 1982 was the nature of "reality" itself, and one of the ways in which this shift was immediately "visible" was in the creative arts. Popular culture since 1982 became profoundly dumb, fake, obvious, redundant, and cannibalistic of earlier cultural products, all the while looking more slick and corporate. Right around 1982, movies, TV and music all started to sound "phony," polished but empty, lacking a certain "soul." It was impossible back then to articulate what was going on, and indeed many of our peers didn't even notice, thinking that 1980s culture was "terrific." But some of us saw... and I am convinced Packard saw, too. Packard has astutely captured on film the disintegration of modern culture, and its replacement with idiot zombie-slave culture - a genius stroke, surely, from the Alejandro Jodorowsky of post-modern America.

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