The trippy post-apocalyptic sci-fi starring a blue monkey

Journey to a strange new world in a preview of ‘Fruit’, the new film scored by DJ Murlo

On Monday 4th September, Random Acts is back with episode three of its second series. Premiering exclusively with Dazed, prior to the midnight screening, is sci-fi short Fruit, written and directed by Carmen Mueck, produced by Nathan Craig and scored by Manchester-based DJ Murlo

Watching Fruit is almost like fast-forwarding the next 4,000 years and taking a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic future. Taking you back to mankind’s most primeval state, Carmen Mueck and Nathan Craig have created an unearthly short-film, with scenery switching between a remote forest and a barely-lit room of primordial darkness. Mastering a gap in time, it’s almost impossible to tell what universe Fruit is set in. Are we looking into the future? Or is this a forgotten world? What we do know is that we're looking at a blue monkey. Describing the context, Mueck comments, “It could be the past or the future. In terms of the design, it was important to feel the contrast between the abyss and the world after the creature tastes the fruit. It was vital to get the whole look of the piece right. The euphoria of the dance, the tenderness in the face and the lushness of forest all beautifully shot by Krzysztof Trojnar.”

With no speech throughout the short, Murlo, who broke the internet with his remix of Rihanna's "Work" in 2016 – which was even approved by Riri herself – creates an atmosphere that bonds the creature to its surroundings. Mueck explains, “It was important that the music and the creature be connected and inform and respond to each other and it needed the right mix of euphoria and cinematic atmosphere,” she continues “It was essential that there was a humour and a joyous feeling even if it was only for a moment.”

Unlike many of us, Murlo has enjoyed 2017: not only has he just celebrated his recent signing to iconic London grime label 'Butterz' for an upcoming release this autumn, but he also presented (and sold out) his first ever live AV show; a unique performance combining his original music with live visuals, hand drawn by himself in June. Therefore, creating the soundtrack for Fruit – whereby the illustrator-come-DJ is pairing music to the creatures choreography – was a natural venture for the upcoming talent. 

“The creature is standing in for a feeling in us and I think we are made more aware of the transformation and the loss because it is an animal.”

Mueck wishes she had longer than just a short film (maybe the length of 2001: Space Odysey; Random Acts has already made the comparison) but reveals her favourite thing about making the film was her talented co-worker’s, explaining “Each part works to enhance the other and it's the ultimate satisfaction.” They also contribute to giving insight into the film. Her editor Joseph Comar described the monkey's story as a “Tragedy of self-consciousness,” and Carmen goes on to say “once it is self-aware it can’t go back. The creature is standing in for a feeling in us and I think we are made more aware of the transformation and the loss because it is an animal.”

The strange fruit is the key to self awareness, an enlightened high or a really good trip which gives ultimate clarity and joy. After biting into the strange fruit Carmen Mueck’s creature – played by Emma Farnell-Watson – “Experiences a high that can’t be sustained” as explained by the Barbican. Journeying out of primitive darkness, the monkey begins to experience sensations like never before in a musky forest and then through a transformative process loosing his luscious locks. This is a film that hints at escaping yourself – whether in a past we can't understand or in a future we can't yet imagine – it's a thing we all have to do to really experience the world. Maybe next time we'll try it painting ourselves blue.