“Love” Makes Hackenyed Territory Fresh Again

Put simply, “Love” is a story about father, sons, and tennis — but in reality, it’s so much more. For James Gallagher, sport was a way to explore larger themes of masculinity and relationships.

It’s a deeply personal topic to Gallagher and he hopes not to just explore the issues at hand, but to look forward into a better way of teaching and talking about masculinity. There’s a sense of urgency that comes through in the film, one that resonates strongly with current debates in popular culture.

“A lot of what I felt like I was taught growing up about manhood feels brutish and unkind,” he explains. “I think we’re finding that the older paradigms of masculinity are vitally damaging but we don’t have much consensus on how masculinity ought to function in the world.”

But this isn’t your typical father-son film. The film has a rhythmic, meditative quality and a script that works separately as a poem — elevating the themes with beautiful, restrained technique.

You can see the whole short here:

For a young filmmaker, it’s an ambitious project — powerful, graceful, and experimental. But here it’s been realized to perfection, with strong instincts and a steady hand.