Film offers us a way to communicate and express ideas through avenues that simply do not exist in other mediums. Concepts that are infinitesimal in their depth, such as estrangement and loss of self, can be warped into any number of different interpretations. In turn, these filmmakers bent on divagating how we create and absorb this art are equally equipped to change how we view all themes in visual media, and how we are wired to accept or reject certain perspectives. Zachary Epcar has furthered this experiment through his eight-minute short film Life After Love, in which we introspectively dive through isolation in the modern world.
“…a solemn retrospection on the paths our lives have taken to this moment…”
Awash in juxtaposed sound and images common to the highways that surround its main action, this film meanders through a massive long-term parking lot, buttressed by narration and oddball camera angles of drivers contemplating their relationships with cars and with each other – all stewing in the summer heat. Each moment becomes more esoteric than the last, with its imagery and sound design ramping up throughout – eventually utilizing strobe lighting and manic editing to pique its atmosphere and resonance considerably. On its surface, Life After Love seems to be just what it says on the tin, a near-despondent contemplation on our mechanical dependence. However, it manages to navigate a solemn retrospection on the paths our lives have taken to this moment, and where this might end up taking us as a society, a civilization, and a species.
While even a bit weird for the arthouse crowd, Life After Love impresses with each frame of its 16mm goodness and lingers in the back of your mind even as your normal day-to-day resumes. Whether we remain blissfully ignorant of each other, succumb to the silent desperation while trying to define ourselves in a sea of similar solitary stories, or evolve to match the contemporary interconnectivity of our world, this film is a springboard for conversation, and I love it.
Life After Love (2018) Written and Directed by Zachary Epcar. Starring Patrick Harrison, Sabrina Ramos, Ray Barmack Richardson, EJ Rosen, Yan Slobodkin. Life After Love screened at the Maryland Film Festival.
9 out of 10
"…“...we introspectively dive through isolation in the modern world.”"