April 2013

Japanese film director, Kore-eda Hirozuka’s Afterlife, inspires this short film, Fruition. Although Afterlife is not technically classified as a Documentary, Koredea, uses techniques from his documentary filmmaking background, to set a deliberate tone of reality. Similarly, I use some documentary-style devices in Fruition such as static long takes, handheld camera, real people and real experiences, and metaphysics to illustrate a more realistic tone necessary for the meaning of the film, which is to recreate and/or recapture paramount moments and shared experiences of particular spaces.

The film starts in an occupied room, in a static position, which sets the viewers up for the importance of the space, rather than individual characters. No character introduces their self formally (name, classification, etc.). With no one character being singularly identified and the setting changing frequently, we are introduced to the dynamics of the space; its frequent visitors, vibrant setting, and comfortable ambiance. Even more, because of the static camera, the viewer is placed in a position to choose what to pay attention to, instead of being instructed and guided by the camera.

Although the individuals’ story does hold merit, the stories of the characters are not individually significant, but rather used to weave together the holistic importance of the place/experience. As the film progresses, we learn that each character has similar experiences, which are all tied to the area in which the interviews are taking place. Thus, the abrupt jump cuts from character to character, while sharing their moments is used to present an elliptical and again, emphasize the place/moment rather than the individual.

Toward the end of the film, I am introduced as more than just the interviewer/film maker. As the stories of the characters start to get more detailed, it soon becomes a dialogue that includes me. The characters (verbally and symbolically) pull me into the film/experience from behind the camera. In the end, viewers see that the entire film is self-reflectively cathartic, highlighting the places and people who have all served to create my experience at Wake Forest, but more precisely in the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). Thus, the metaphysics of Fruition (shown in the use of film within film), further emphasizes the importance of recapping experiences/moments, parallel to Kore-eda’s Afterlife.