Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: indie

Rukus movie review

by Patch O'Furr

This unusual movie got 5 support articles before I was ready for a personal review. It’s hard to nail down, so the work got really labored over, but it deserves the effort. – Patch  

Rukus was an artist from Florida who committed suicide in 2008 at age 23. He was a mercurial muse to his friends. Linear storytelling about him could make a sad movie, but Rukus comes from many directions. It overlaps documentary of him, with his boyfriend reflecting on their relationship, and his friendship with film maker Brett Hanover. His enigmatic presence weaves through Hanover’s personal life, which goes from trouble with OCD to finding completion in relationships and art. The life of Rukus becomes points on a trajectory of escape from pain.

The directing style frames lo-fi video with dramatized memories, daydreams and fiction from Rukus. They’re re-enacted by younger and older stand-ins for him, and voiced with animation. It’s one of those arty movies that doesn’t easily boil down to one commercial line, but it’s directed with purpose. When the pieces don’t fit together neatly, the negative space holds a chewy assortment of themes.

There’s repressed abuse, disconnection, and love outside of hetero norms. It touches on conflict with anti-gay religion in the Southern US, but it’s more involved with a setting in furry fandom. Furries have a loveably eccentric subculture of fans for talking-animal media that appears in fantasy art by Rukus, internet role-play, a hotel convention, and a stage play. Those feed the human connections in the movie. You also get to see a costumer called a “whore bear” and a moment of tender toes-in-nose contact that turns into crosswired love.

The movie is outstanding for merging fiction and documentary while drawing from a subculture rarely seen in any feature film. It premiered at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival, where furries came for group fursuiting (with full body costumes that make unique “fursonas”). That’s sort of like how Comic Con cosplayers emulate Hollywood superheroes, but those don’t keep their powers when the movie ends.

Rukus casts animal shadows behind misfits who play muses for each other, and delivers bittersweet satisfaction. You can see it now on rukusmovie.com.

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Rukus film maker Brett Hanover: “Furry is a collective art project”

by Patch O'Furr

Watch free online! Public release was announced yesterday with links to reviews and more. Now the director tells how it grew.

See Rukus now at www.rukusmovie.com, or NoBudge on October 17th. “A hybrid of documentary and fiction, ‘Rukus’ is a queer coming of age story set in the liminal spaces of furry conventions, southern punk houses, and virtual worlds”. The person named Rukus was a furry artist who committed suicide, but left many memories and mysteries. His friendship with film maker Brett Hanover (bretthanover.com) inspired this movie. Please share it to other fans and indie movie lovers to support it like the way it was made.

Brett Hanover is a filmmaker and youth media educator from Memphis, TN, whose work explores outsider art, mental health, and queer fan communities. His documentaries and collaborative narrative film projects have been exhibited at venues including the SXSW Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and the Cinémathèque Française. Brett received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the University of Illinois.

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Rukus movie out now: Furries, memories and mysteries (with a director Q&A).

by Patch O'Furr

Memphis film maker Brett Hanover shares Rukus free to the public. Don’t miss the full interview with him.

8 years in the making, this indie feature film makes an ambitious hybrid of fiction and documentary. It’s out today, October 10th, at Vimeo and www.rukusmovie.com, and then at NoBudge on October 17th. Put on a kigu, bring a friend or a pet, and share it to furry fans and indie movie lovers to support it.

The person named Rukus was a furry artist who committed suicide, but left many memories and mysteries. His friendship with Brett Hanover inspired the movie. This fandom-sourced labor of love has been to film festivals and furry conventions across the USA and Europe. It was selected for South by Southwest (SXSW), where mainstream cinemaphiles praised this unique flight of imagination.

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Avian Invasion – Children Of The Stars – Album Review by Enjy

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Matthew Ebel is a well-known fandom musician who has begun a new project that sees him shifting from his roots of piano-based lyrical works to what he has dubbed “progressive (bird)house” with hints of trance peppered throughout. Performing under the name “Bird One,” Ebel dons a masquerade-like beak and colorful outfits as he crafts melodies that have been played at such important venues as The Roxy and even the Grand Ole Opry. How well does Bird One’s musical prowess transfer from Elton John to EDM? We are going to take a look at his 6-song EP titled Children Of The Stars to find out.

We Looked Up is the first song on the EP. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, explaining in a narrative form over a pulsing, dark, bass driven beat that the world has transformed into a dystopian society of people who do not trust each other. “Now the people built only walls. The shadow whispered in their ears, told the people that only darkness could defeat darkness,” the narrator states, his voice tinged with flanges and pitch shifts that give it an eerie quality, as if maybe you cannot trust him, either. For those of you who wonder about Ebel’s piano work, it is front and center here, clean keys tapping out a spacey melody over the grimy bass and drums in the background, evoking images of a clean galaxy over a dirty megacity. Indeed that is where the narrative goes next, as the narrator explains that one man said he saw light, and the people looked up, hence the track’s title. The song breaks into a happy tone after a rise, painting the picture of the land being flooded with light as they break down the walls. This track is a master class in how to use texture and tone to create a soundscape, and Bird One did an extremely good job at telling the story with more than words. “Only the light can defeat darkness, and there is always light,” the line the song is closed with, is particularly powerful and important to remember in trying times such as these. Absolutely a 10 out of 10.

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Animation and documentaries break ground for an indie furry film scene.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement: Until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Hollywood favors big-budget explosion-based movies. For small indie makers, the epic approach doesn’t seem like an easy path to getting support. Instead, those in furry fandom might go for niche, weird and being real. Think of artists with bedroom studios. Think of high furry talent at low fandom cost. Think of making documentary with ingredients already available, like costumes worth millions in show-value, and a cast that needs no practice to feature their passion. There’s so much raw energy here waiting to come out.

With documentary, excitement is rising for The Fandom, a series in the works from Ash Coyote, Chip Fox and Eric Risher. (The first episode is out on March 22). Ash’s co-director and editor, Eric “Ash” Risher (Furryfilmmaker) already made a well-received documentary and won a regional Emmy. At this point in fandom growth, such projects seem viable to go wider. Furries have recently risen to pro Youtuber status with 100k+ subscriber channels. (Call them “pro-fans”, which may be a unique status for this kind of grassroots fandom). Meanwhile a CNN news feature earned good mainstream notice, and furries spawned two good feature films; Fursonas won an award at the Slamdance festival and Rukus screened at SXSW.  And for the first time in 2019, a furry film fest is coming to Utah (an idea I’ve been wanting to see for years).

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Fursona Pins – a fandom success

by Patch O'Furr

Dogpatch offers community access for guests, but steers towards informative stories. That led to a Q&A (rather than a repost) for this submitted article:

Fursona Pins Are The Fandom’s Next Trend – by Cy Mendoza.

Cy’s business, Fursona Pins, has standout quality worth sharing. In under a year, raising over 10,000 followers on their Twitter, 640 Patreon supporters, and a 400-strong Telegram group shows something with demand. It even seems like a successful niche that could support a “pro-fan” career.

Enamel pins look wearable, durable, easily shareable, unique and collectible. (A monthly subscription to get them is smart.) Making a batch has potential unlike single art commissions, and collecting these would be easy (there’s only so much room for art prints). They look like good “swag” and there’s themed ones (like Pride flag character pins) to express yourself.

We chatted about the business:

(DP): Was this a happy surprise or did you carefully plan to get so much interest?  What was the startup process like?  

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ArtworkTee issues and the heart of the furry economy

by Patch O'Furr

There was a lot of recent drama about Artworktee, an indie operation catering to furries. This video covers how it started, but there’s a lot more to say.

I had mixed feelings on watching it unfold on social media. “But Patch, isn’t reporting not supposed to have feelings?” I’m a fan like any other, and “objective fan” is an oxymoron.  I couldn’t pretend not to be one, or miss the point of having an independent subculture by fans, for fans that’s best written about from inside. For this story, I dug deeper into some of the issues involved:

  • Complaints about underpaid artists.
  • Questionable practices for the business of art.
  • The mission and allegiance involved in profiting from fandom.
  • The stakes of overlooking problems and calling it “just business”, vs. how formal business can solve problems too.

Let me try to bring understanding from several perspectives, including the travails of small-business, and the devotion of grassroots fans. This is a great case for that stuff, because it’s not every day that a business comes from this niche fandom that kind of resembles mainstream startup companies. Until now, the most successful commercial enterprise like that is probably Bad Dragon.

Pro-fans and profiteering

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Furry is Punk | Culturally F’d

by Arrkay

Guest post by Arrkay from Culturally F’d, the furry youtube channel. See their tag on Dogpatch Press for more.

Furry and Punk have a lot in common, way more than you think! Arrkay discusses the parallels of the two movements, their philosophies, their work ethic and more! We’re really excited for this episode as it’s been on the list of suggestions for over a year!

This episode came together with the help of a lot of different furs! This article is going to look at some of the research we used, and a shoutout for everyone who helped.

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Rukus, the indie furry movie, is coming to Furry Weekend Atlanta

by Patch O'Furr

On April 6, catch the convention debut of an Official Selection from SF IndieFest and the SXSW Film Festival. 

FWA just updated their schedule with all the details. Director Brett Hanover and collaborators will be in attendance. It will be an “After Dark Panel.” FWA is part of the story of the movie – it’s a local con for the film makers who come from Memphis.

Rukus (2018, 87 min):

In January I helped bring a large furry group to SF Indiefest. It was an awesome experience, and cinema lovers who appreciate the art form should get a thrill from it. Rukus is punk influenced storytelling between queer coming-of-age story, experimental fiction, and a love letter to fandom. This isn’t a sunny movie but it has joy and passion in it. There’s suicide, sex, and finding identity. It rewards multiple watches where you can peel up the rough edges to find a lot going on underneath. My favorite part is how it takes chances with a shoestring budget, and it’s something a community can count as a DIY product from itself. (I’d love to see that become a scene.) Plus, screening at SXSW is a big deal in the larger scheme of things.

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Mascot Fur Life – movie reviews by Rex Masters and Flash Hound

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Rex and Flash for their reviews! Dogpatch Press welcomes community access writers – get in touch. – Patch

A review of Mascot Fur Life

I have just watched a film titled Mascot Fur Life (2016 German with English subtitles). To be honest I was a bit apprehensive to watch another “furry film/ documentary” – the last one I watched left me feeling betrayed and hollow inside. Anyway, on to this film.

The main character is a Lion named Willion Richards.  Willion’s dream is to be the mascot of a soccer team.  He trains very hard with the help of his coach Berk.  Life is difficult for Willion, who struggles as a greeter in a large hardware store.

The film is professionally made, with excellent editing, good camera angles, great sets, and most scenes being shot on location.  I’m sure none of us will argue that the costumes aren’t first rate!

Can Willion make the tryouts?  Will this lion be happy, or forever doomed to work at a hardware store?  Will he overcome despair and the prejudice against him? Can he even pay the rent for his flat?

I found this film to be most enjoyable; in fact, I highly recommend you see it!

It most assuredly receives a Five Paw rating from this old dog.

– Rex Masters

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