LOVE IS ALL takes a sweeping retrospective look through 20th-century cinema at the depiction of moments of romance, forgiveness, jealousy, lust and courtship.
Using archive footage from the BFI and the Yorkshire Film Archive, director Kim Longinotto takes us back in time, to silent romps in the woods with farmhands and monochrome factory-girl trips to Blackpool. We follow World War II soldiers finding love in the munitions factories, and modern-day love affairs set against a variety of urban backgrounds.
There are sexual jealousies and familial conflicts, along with dancing, stolen moments of joy, and weddings. Though much of the footage is from the past, it seems contemporary, affirming that love is timeless.
There is no formal narration over LOVE IS ALL. Instead, Longinotto lets her footage do the talking, accompanied by an original soundtrack by Richard Hawley. His songs are sometimes sad and sometimes sweet, providing a common theme that makes 100 years of film feel intimately related.
Longinotto’s film-essay shows the consequences of love, and how attitudes have changed towards expressions of love over time. She includes same-sex relationships and interracial couples, highlighting the discrimination they have faced but ultimately painting a positive picture of love overcoming adversity.
Equally, however, the film shows that romance is not necessarily the be-all and end-all: a woman can turn down a man and still have a happy life.
Whether you’re loved-up or lonesome this Valentine’s, LOVE IS ALL will give you a bit of perspective – it’s an evocative and captivating work.
Life a rich tapestry, and love is the thread that keeps it all together.