By ELI O’DONNELL
When was the last time you really felt like you?
I don’t mean you the physical self, the mass of atoms that have so perfectly combined to create the mixture of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus that equals the human body. I don’t mean you, the psychological self that feels it lives about two centimetres behind your eyes. I mean, when was the last time you felt like being you. Wholeheartedly. Without compromise. “Me”.
It’s this question I found myself asking after seeing Fugacis: A Pschycadelic Oddesy, directed by first time Edmonton director Zach Proulx.
The film follows best friends and small-time acid dealers Rimon (Tom Tunski) and Darrien (David Madawo) as they search for Opus, the fictional acid that is said to reveal the meaning of life to its users. Few know of its existence and even less have seen its truths. Those who have don’t come out the same.
Fugacis uses its hallucinatory subject matter to its advantage, taking the trip and running with it. Things like sound design, shot framing, focus and editing all come together to try and recreate what it’s like to be on acid. People’s faces will warp and trees take on an otherworldly sway.
Although trippy visuals are always a good time, where Fugacis really shines is in the themes and emotions it tackles. Touching on what it means to lose someone close to you, coping with trauma, finding meaning in what feels like an inherently meaningless universe and, most importantly, moving on. Even the name of the film, Fugacis (which I had to look up) is a Latin word for “inclined to escape,” and that’s what we are as people after all.
There’s not one person who wouldn’t wave a magic wand or take a legendary drug to change that one nagging thing about themselves: their smile, their voice, or their addictions. For Rimon and Darrien that nag is feeling lost without purpose in their own reality. Fugacis isn’t about waving that wand, it’s about looking directly into the endless, untelling universe in front of yourself and defining it for yourself. Fugacis is about coming to your own conclusions, about redefining your undefinable, about connecting dots in a slew of stars to form your own constellations. Fugacis is about you.