Toronto After Dark 2011: Love
In many ways the making of Love exemplifies everything the film represents. The film deals with the importance of human connection and the fact that the film even exist is thanks in part to the numerous people who donated their time and talents, often for free, to help the project reach completion. Made over the course of four years, Love was original a series of music videos before director William Eubank and his producer Angel and Airwaves frontman, and Blink 182 member, Tom DeLonge realized that they had something much bigger on their hands.
Set in the future, 2039 to be exact, Love follows a astronaut, Lee Miller (Gunner Wright) on the International Space Station who finds himself stranded after an apocalyptic event cuts off his communication with Earth. With no knowledge of what has occurred Miller tries desperately to fight off the madness that his lengthy isolation has brought on. After coming across a mysterious journal, Miller soon discovers that the past may hold the answers to his future.
Love is a film that demands multiple viewings in order to unlock all of the symbolism flowing through the film. It is constantly hammering home the importance of human connections in relation to what it truly means to live and love. Without connections there can be no existence. Eubank explores this by incorporating strategically placed interviews with “average” people from different walks of life. He also slowly details how isolation, the ultimate villain in the film, can slowly cause a person to forget everything they hold dear.
Gunner Wright does an exceptional job portraying a man approaching his breaking point. Given the task of carrying the majority of the film by himself, Wright is more than up to the task. At first his performance will remind audiences of Sam Rockwell’s character in Moon, however as the film progresses Wright clearly provides his own take on the stranded in space concept. It also helps that William Eubank offers a lot of visual flair to the overall film, which allows the audience to take the occasional break from the lengthy isolation scenes.
Despite its modest budget, Love has the visual feel of a big budget motion picture. There are numerous scenes where the audience will be questioning “how did they do that?” What is even more impressive is that Eubank shot most of the film in the backyard of his parent’s ranch and build many of the sets himself. The visuals are especially stunning in the civil war scene at the beginning and the trippy space-like scenes in the latter acts.
Speaking of the latter acts, this is where the film is make or break for viewers. There is a point where the film, after focusing on Miller’s lengthy isolation, veers in a direction that is not expected. It will take several viewings before it will become clear whether or not Eubank’s decision to do this was a successful one. However as a piece of science fiction, Love offers much to think about. The ending left me a little confused but in a good way. Love is a film that I look forward to deciphering further upon multiple viewings.