‘Love’ is one of my favorites of my own work for the reasons that it was both very easy to make and turned out exactly as I’d envisioned it. Yet, its one of my most inaccessible films for audiences.
I’d been inspired by Antonin Artaud’s book ‘Theatre and its Double’ particularly the ‘Theatre Of Cruelty’ and felt that -despite it being written for theatre- it would work very well cinematically. The aim was to take a theme, in this case the theme of ‘Love’, and explore it in the darkest, most unsettling and horrifying way. Its about sounds, images, moods, feelings, ideas, dreams and nightmares, rather than straight forward narrative storytelling.
When I wrote ‘Love‘ it was really a lot of images and sounds coming together to create a emotional and unpleasant experience for the viewer. The way I wrote it was that I blacked-out and saw the film play out in my head, every shot, every sound and color, and when I re-awoke I had written out all of what I’d imagined on a piece of paper (oddly I’d written in columns from right to left instead of left to right).
The film took two days to shoot and I pretty much entirely used bits and pieces from previous films; the set of Scare Vent features in two scenes, but without the metallic sheets over the walls. I even borrowed a red candle from the next door neighbor instead of buying one. We filmed mostly in the attic of my house, which was quite large and just provided a black space. The attic wall was also very suitable for the feel and texture of the film. My actors were the regulars Charlotte Roest-Ellis and Sam Lane, who both had fun screaming and grunting and crying and pulling ugly faces.
The only problem we faced throughout filming was that there was probably a wasps nest in the attic and so a lot of wasps were flying around (it wouldn’t be until shooting ‘Scarlet Inferno 2’, my next film which was never completed, that one of my actors would actually get stung).
Despite the amount of distorting picture and sound effects in ‘Love’, I edited the film in less than two days and it cut together exactly as I’d imagined. Perhaps because the process was so quick and simple and my vision was so clear (and also that the film is very abstract) ‘Love’ was just so fun to make and its one film of which I am truly proud of.
As for the meaning behind the film, there is a simple story of two lovers; fate brings them together, there’s a sexual encounter, a transformation that is a pregnancy and a murder that results finally in one character finding what Love is. Whether you follow it or not doesn’t matter, I just want the viewer to experience the journey. The imagery is there to provoke thoughts and emotions rather than pin point a specific meaning.