Tuesday, January 26

Chimps make their own movies because why not

pfeng sent me this link the other day, and because it is BREAKING NEWS I thought I would share it with you all.

Scotland is known for its strong primatology programs, and they've recently built some cutting edge primate enclosures up there which ought to do great things for primate research.

Something which may or may not be a "great thing" for primatology is a video being broadcast on networks, which was filmed by the chimps. I have a few complaints, mainly that the score is a bit silly - they might as well let the chimps compose that part of the film as well. Or at very least give the film a more organic score, or possibly something like Gorillas in the Mix. The film is also heavily edited, which makes the videos almost useless to me as a researcher. But, I suppose any exposure like this is good for public chimpanzee awareness, and I cannot complain about such a thing.

The graduate research which provided the excuse to make this movie ought to be legitimately interesting as well. There are some fascinating results produced by studies of chimps who have painted their own pictures... results which I'll get to writing about one of these days.


  1. Do you remember when we were at the Portland Art Museum, and in one of the visual installation rooms, they had an exhibit of interspersed clips of a small train, the view from the front of the train, a chimp, people watching the chimp, the chimp chasing the train, the chimp on the train, etc., and Dad pointed out that what was missing---what would really complete the artwork---was some filming that was actually done by the chimp?

  2. Oh yes, I remember that exhibit quite well.

    If I recall correctly (which I might not), there were people filming the chimp, and people filming the people filming the chimp, and so on. What dad really wanted to see was the chimp filming the guy filming the guy filming the guy... filming the chimp.

  3. I'd think music or art are media better suited to chimpanzee expression than film-making, but it definitely looked interesting. One would really need to heavily edit chimp-produced footage in order to make it interesting to the average audience -- who's going to sit through hours of footage of some random chimp who stuck the camera lens into his armpit, after all, except a dedicated primatologist?