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Film Review: 'Love'

★★★☆☆
There is always likely to be an air of suspicion permeating a low budget science fiction epic that is produced and scored by an alternative rock band, and released as a tie-in with a double album (calls of "cash-in" are, unfortunately, to be expected). The band in question are Angels and Airwaves, led by Tom DeLonge (formerly of Blink 182), and their project is called Love (2011). The result, whilst not expanding the genre, is a diverting way to spend an hour and a half, featuring some stunning cinematography and enthusiastic bombast by the bucket load.

Crafted by cinematographer and first-time director William Eubank, Love opens with a heavily-stylised recreation of the American Civil War in which we see a young soldier tasked with leaving his platoon before they charge out to their certain doom. He is to head out, and lay eyes on something that has been discovered in the desert nearby and should record what he sees. The plot then leaps forward into the future where Capt. Lee Miller (Gunner Wright) is the first man to head back out to the International Space Station after years of abandonment. His solo mission takes on a new dimension when contact with Earth is lost and he has only himself and the odd moment of static for company.

Having been made by a cinematographer, and created on a minuscule budget, this exploration of human connections and the fragility of life is certainly hugely ambitious. It is likely to be spoken about alongside Duncan Jones' Moon (2009), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and even Aronofsky's The Fountain (2006) but such comparisons are a little flattering. In taking each part of Love in and of itself there is much to admire, but as a whole it does not quite hang together.

From the slow motion scenes of the Civil War, to the low key and unsettling scenes aboard the ISS, the film looks incredible and it is hard to comprehend that the set was built out of spare parts on the drive of the director's parents. However, despite their quality, the visuals do have something of music video edge to them. On top of that, the overarching story, that ties in the Civil War and the future, does not really work and ultimately lacks the kind of profound insight that it is perhaps striving for.

Where it seems to swell towards a massive revelation, Love regrettably falls a little flat. However, William Eubank certainly looks like a talent to keep an eye on and for a low-budget sci-fi of this nature it is certainly commendable.

For more info, visit facebook.com/LoveTheMovieUK.

Ben Nicholson

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