Movie Review: The Fandom26th October 2020
I’ve no qualms with the Animal Kingdom, I just think it’s a bit weird to dress up as anything outside of Halloween, let alone elk or cats in your spare time. Still, some people might think my hair or my face is weird, many people do in fact think those things. Different strokes for different folks and all that. The Fandom looks to dissect and delve deep into one of the millions of sub-sections found in the culture and arts industry. Furries, their fascination with bringing themselves to life as anthropomorphic caricatures of feathered beasts, and their strange attraction to them, is documented to varying degrees here in this inaugural piece from Ash Kreis.
Fascinating to a degree, The Fandom attempts to dive deep into a community that feels secluded and defensive. You can see why, though, with many passers-by here to mock and abuse a community founded on shared interests. It’s like when the cool kids would bully you for bringing your Match Attax cards to school, I should know, because I did that. Parallels are drawn between furries and other fandoms, how love for a similar interest blossoms into a culture bringing outsiders together. Regardless of what an individual audience member may think of it, it’s always nice to see a community come together, stitched together by a love for a common hobby.
There are shorter YouTube documentaries available, for free. Channels that have covered this, primarily the Internet Historian, make for better, more humorous and insightful pockets of detail. Although the history on display in The Fandom is somewhat interesting, I struggle to think of the appeal this will have for anyone that isn’t heading in to poke fun. It’s quite sad, but maybe I’m a cynic and believe people are always on the lookout for something to mock or demean, but The Fandom doesn’t do anything to deter those who wish to do so. You can’t really do anything to stop that, though, it didn’t stop me, why would it stop someone with no reason to be reasonable or unbiased?
My nightmares now will be filled with footage of six-foot nerds, dressed as blue wolves, dancing to death metal which has been muted, replaced by an overlay of cheap acoustic guitar. The Fandom does little to break down the stereotypes those on the outside have come to know, in fact, it doubles down on them rather haphazardly. Outsiders documented by a director and crew whose honest intentions will lead its subjects to be ostracised even further. Neither scratching the dark underbelly of such a fandom, nor painting a brighter light on a community already mocked and ridiculed by those not a part of it, The Fandom isn’t all that integral a documentary, it feels more like a zoo built on the premise that its subjects will be jeered and ridiculed for participating in a hobby deemed astronomically far from the cultural norms of today.