Given the seemingly endless pantheon of all that’s been said and written on the subject of love, it’s a simultaneously daunting and admirable task to dare to say something new about it or to portray it in a new light. Yet the creator of this week’s Staff Pick Premiere made the astute observation that despite the abundance of love stories, few films capture the wordless, primal essence of the sensation of love itself. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to look back at one of our favorite animated shorts in recent years, Réka Bucsi’s “LOVE,” which is now online for the first time.
In a medium often associated with plot-heavy fables, Bucsi is something of an outlier in the world of animation. In all three of her shorts, “Symphony No. 42” (2014), “LOVE” (2016) and “Solar Walk” (2018), Busci has thus far bucked the trend, eschewing traditional narratives in favor of a more impressionistic and less formal approach--an artistic choice that has brought her international acclaim for each film, including multiple selections at Berlinale and Sundance. “I’m driven by visuals and rhythm,” says Busci, “not by spoken words.”
According to Busci, “LOVE” originated as an experiment in wanting to “make a movie about love, but [not] to portray it through a couple of characters, but more in general through atmosphere, and a tactile environment that would give the audience a sort of sensation for the feeling of longing, love and solitude.” The result is a free-flowing narrative that traverses the universe, depicting an ensemble cast of celestial bodies and otherworldly creatures in various states of attraction toward one another. Viewers who attempt to parse out a conventional love story from the short are likely to leave disappointed, but for those who allow it to wash over them with all its aesthetic and emotive richness, “LOVE” is both rewarding and delightful.
Check out more of Vimeo’s Staff Pick Premieres here.