Damon Packard has a new absurdist film out called FOXFUR, which premiered in late July at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, and is now available on DvD.
Foxfur takes place in current day Los Angeles and features the main character, Foxfur, a young woman seemingly caught in between alternate realities, eventually learning that the world ended in 1982.
But first there’s a manic rush to get to a new age bookstore to find some answers regarding rumors about the fate of real life UFO heavyweight Billy Meier and alien conspiracy theorist Richard Hoagland.
Absurdist conflicts occur as Foxfur’s friend, Khris played excellently by Khris Kaneff, attempts to drive her to the bookstore in his running out of gas van, yet goes through a tension building series of mishaps and missteps along the way.
Packard is best known for his masterpiece REFLECTIONS OF EVIL from 2002. Since then he’s created a vast number of works from short vignettes to longer pieces like the Untitled Star Wars Mockumentary (2003) and Tales of the Valley of the Wind (2009), two very different works.
FOXFUR marks a return to more of a, long awaited, Reflections style film, only this time with a fraction of the budget as the “finished” film reflects.
It’s a botched film as Packard likely recognizes, but as viewers and fans of Damon’s work will recognize going in, it’s a Packard picture, and only Packard can make a botched piece of cinema, actually work and work well.
Foxfur treads those outer boundaries of “working well” as a finished narrative work and I would guess it probably came out to be some bastard cousin of the originally intended script. But there’s a lot of great scenes and a lot of good well performed absurdist acting; it’s still a great watch, it’s still a Packard.
Many of the “mistakes” probably make it for the better as well. The fact that the lead character of Foxfur is played by several different actresses due to not being able to hold on to one actress for extended periods of time (and with no attempt to try and use similar looking actresses) actually works out great and this casting mishap is integrated into the story. Kaneff’s character plays along with absurdist confusion as one scene transitions to the next and a totally different Foxfur appears, “you’re not Foxfur?!” as a three stooges Packard edit assist head shake follows…
Reflections of Evil was also fractured and loose, yet hilarious and relevant; probably one of the best Los Angeles films of all time, showing the city raw and the characters everyone in L.A. encounters.
Foxfur also plays up the L.A. scene by featuring “The Boddhi Tree”, a real life new agey bookstore, a spiritual go-to trendy’esque hangout for the classic Los Angles yoga-spiritual wannabe or otherwise crowd. Some scenes are shot inside the Boddhi Tree and Packard has an actor playing David Icke, who works the front counter.
Many will jump the gun and think Packard is making fun of Icke, Meier, the Boddhi and “stupid people”- as I recall one reviewer writing – altogether. But that’s not the case, just as he wasn’t making fun of Spielberg in a Reflections scene, though it may have seemed that way. Through Packard’s lens it’s more of a celebration, recognition, even admiration of these people and our relationship to them whether as followers or forced observers. Packard probably likes Icke. I think it’s more of a recognition that these places, these people exist – not positive nor negative – they’re just here and that’s cool, let’s celebrate, recognize, have fun with it.
Ultimately it seems the budget and passing of time got the best of Packard. He seemed to go as far as he could go with this one, until it was just simply time to stop. Dump what you got into the timeline, manipulate and re-master PackardVision style, slave away at a video and audio edit, and export the motherfucker.
Foxfur ends abruptly with a scene that may have been meant not as an ending, but as an opening sequence. It’s actually a beautiful scene, with yet another new Foxfur actress, and we finally learn more about what the previous hour was supposed to be about, and then we quickly learn that another gladly accepted hour of this movie, is non-existent. You can almost hear the last dime from the Foxfur film budget drop to the ground as suddenly the scene ends, and the credits roll.
You can message Packard on Farcebook to inquire about buying a copy of FoxFur.