“Perhaps most apparent, the title of my film is a nod to John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath. I first came across the book in my high school AP Lit class and was disappointed / amused to discover it contained no actual grapes. That said, I carried the notion of ‘angry fruit’ with me, determined to make something of this absurd idea I felt so strongly in. Having been primarily a writer of humor for the better part of three years following uni, I reached a point where the written form didn’t excite me anymore. I craved the physicality of comedy greats such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, whose work I studied meticulously leading up to the filming of Grape of Wrath. Their ability to say so much without saying anything at all exemplified the power of body language as a narrative tool.
     “My deep dive into silent cinema coupled with a recent fascination in avant-garde / experimental short films brought me to the work of Norman McLaren. Of his ouevre, the two films that cemented his place in my heart were his 1957 collaboration with Claude Jutra, called A Chairy Tale, and his 1952’s Oscar winning short, Neighbours. Both of these pieces struck me with what I refer to as ‘contained world building,’ the ability to create atmospheres within the confines of a small setting. While the physical comedy is still there, McLaren’s aforementioned shorts juxtaposes Chaplin / Keaton’s stunt-based theatrics with a more pared-down approach. A culmination of all the above, Grape of Wrath is my way of paying homage to the legends who inspired me to find the little moments of humor in life.”

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