Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So chick rhymes with flick

Lydia is not only a great friend but also my filmmaking partner. Seems super appropriate then that we got together to blog-buddy for the following independently produced, female-driven recent release. Enjoy!

Lydia's Review of The Future

Miranda July completely won me over with her charming and absorbing debut feature Me and You and Everyone We Know. As writer, director, actor and performance artist extraordinaire, July brings a fresh voice to the film industry, telling stories the way she wants them to be told. After winning the Camera D’Or at Cannes and the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, it is no surprise that her follow-up feature was met with high expectation and much anticipation — from myself included.

Caitlin's Review of The Future

Scare Quote Scare by Caitlin Murphy

I don’t love Miranda July’s films. In fact, I’m not even sure I really like them. But I’m bloody glad she makes them. If female protagonists are despairingly rare at the local googleplex, female writer/directors are almost nowhere to be seen. Though July’s recent outing, The Future, has lots to offer, ultimately it plays its emotional cards too close.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


This week original co-blogger, Brian, makes a welcome return (after triumphantly handing in
his thesis -- woot woot!). Of note too, this is the first documentary reviewed on Fruits. Enjoy.

Brian's Review of Project Nim

Fiction–Nonfiction by Brian Crane

Project Nim tells the life story of a chimpanzee named Nim, and that story is compelling. He lives with a human family, learns sign language, passes through a medical lab where he’s used to test experimental vaccines and ends up alone in a cage on a horse sanctuary in Texas until the last years of his life. The documentary Project Nim is not, however, a compelling film. Worse, to my eye, it misses its subject near completely.

Caitln's Review of Project Nim

Of Chimps and Chumps by Caitlin Murphy

Chimpanzees are creepy. Cute sure, but creepy too. With 98.7% of their DNA identical to humans, they’re a bit too close for our “aren’t we so darn special” comfort. Intellectually, we know that we’re animals, but deep down I doubt most of us fully believe it. Perhaps not surprisingly, Project Nim, a documentary that recounts a famous chimpanzee study, is more about the human incompetence, self-absorption and delusion involved in conducting the study, than its supposed animal subject. Basically, there’s a lot going on in that 1.3% DNA difference – and it ain’t all pretty.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

After the pit-stop

Been a long time since the last review! Hung out in the lake for a while, and also shot a short film. Happy to be back on board this week with previous blog-review-buddy, Pauline. Enjoy!

Pauline's Review of The Trip

With food consciousness, food fetishism and food snobbery at an all-time high, it’s not unreasonable to assume that The Trip, which chronicles two actor friends’ weeklong journey to northern England’s finest restaurants, might hinge on the role played by food; not so. Viewers hoping to learn about restauranteering, the cultural significance of food, or British culinary trends won’t have the opportunity to indulge in more than a few minutes’ worth of food footage and a couple of serious-chef-at-work/snooty waiter scenes. An odd twist since one of the main characters is supposed to be writing restaurant reviews.

Caitlin's Review of The Trip

Cheque, Please!
by Caitlin Murphy

The road trip flick, episodic in nature, can be difficult to imbue with meaningful coherence. Watching The Trip, I struggled to figure out what I’d say about it, mostly cause I had this consuming feeling that the whole thing felt like a great idea for a reality t.v. show. And then, Wikipedia, as it so often does, cleared up my confusion, explaining that The Trip is an “improvised six-episode comedy series… the episodes were edited together into a feature film.” Indeed they were. Edited together. Into a film. The thing is: intention matters. Genre matters. And obviously, Wikipedia matters. When you sit down to write a frothy pop song, you rarely, by accident, compose an opera; and when you set out to make a six-episode t.v. series, you likely don’t also happen to find the makings of a feature-length film. They’re different beasts. And having one dress up like the other just doesn’t work. After the fact insertions, cobblings, and re-arrangements are always somehow felt. Essentially, The Trip is an exercise in re-packaging, and it feels like one.