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Sundance 2024: Post-apocalyptic romance ‘Love Me’ tells technological tangle tale

(From left to right) Kristen Stewart, Steven Yeun, Sam and Andy Zuchero pose at the Sundance premiere of “Love Me.” The film was apart of the film festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition. (Julia Zhou/Assistant Photo editor)

By Talia Sajor

Jan. 28, 2024 8:28 p.m.

Love and humanity transcend water and space in “Love Me.”

The post-apocalyptic romance premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by filmmaking duo Sam and Andy Zuchero, the movie follows the blossoming romance between a buoy (Kristen Stewart) and a satellite (Steven Yeun) after meeting online in a world where human life no longer exists.

Yeun and the Zucheros spoke with the Daily Bruin’s Talia Sajor at the Sundance Film Festival press line about the creative process behind the film and how its themes apply to today’s society.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Daily Bruin: Why did you decide to come into this project together as a unit rather than making it independently?

Sam Zuchero: We’ve been working with each other for a long time, ever since we went to school together, in different capacities, like working on each other’s projects and helping each other with our own individual projects. And then we decided that the confluence of our unique perspectives together would create something unique.

[Related: Sundance 2024 Q&A: How Mark DiCristofaro’s ‘War Game’ transcends the traditional documentary]

DB: Why did you decide to specifically choose a buoy and a satellite to portray a romantic relationship?

Andy Zuchero: We live in Topanga, which is right along the ocean, and there’s one little buoy that floats out, probably about two miles away. One night, we saw above it a satellite twinkling in the sky. It was just really beautiful, and we thought, “That’s a movie.”

DB: In the film, you and Kristen go from a satellite and a buoy to becoming actual humans through the use of avatars. How were you two able to build that chemistry throughout these different transformations?

Steven Yeun: We just kind of dove in. Sam and Andy had written such a beautiful script and they had constructed such a very inclusive, well-structured setup directorial device in the way that they shot it. So all it really asks of me and Kristen was to come in and honor these characters – it felt safe that way.

[Related: Composer Tod Machover speaks on collaborative AI, progress of media technology]

DB: In our current age of AI, social media and technology, why is a love story such as “Love Me” important to share with audiences?

SY: I think these days, tech, efficiency and perfection, it clouds the truth of the beauty of all of us. Our imperfections are the more beautiful aspects of us. And I think it can be a really terrible psychic trick on a lot of our minds. And so these days, it’s fun to explore in this context what connection really means, what transformation really means and what identity really means.

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Talia Sajor | Arts editor
Sajor is the 2023-2024 Arts editor. She previously served as the 2022-2023 Theater | film | television editor and a Photo, Opinion and PRIME contributor. She is also a third-year communication student from Oxnard, California.
Sajor is the 2023-2024 Arts editor. She previously served as the 2022-2023 Theater | film | television editor and a Photo, Opinion and PRIME contributor. She is also a third-year communication student from Oxnard, California.
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