回爱 Relove 2023
Directed, written, produced, edited by Jay Zhao
"Relove" /《回爱》is a 39-minute short film with a romance and retro genre, produced by a student crew across UNSW, Usyd and UTS in late 2022. The production of filming began in late August and took 2 months to be completed in late September, while the post production and soundtrack were fully refined in early 2023.
A mid-class everyman, Liu Ti, broke up with his 5-years relationship girlfriend after he moved to another state without workplace oppression, but he regrets it soon. By chance, he entraps into a time loop, in which he travels back time five years ago. Liu needs to start the relationship with his ex-girlfriend again, and the only chance to escape from the loop and let time run forwards is to successfully pursue his ex-girlfriend like what he did 5 years ago.
Inspired by the neon image of the 80s plus the city pop and synthwave musics, we wish to render a retrowave vision for this film with the topic set in the future. The nostalgic and vaporwave aesthetics provide an experience of the audience to travel across time.
'Relove' experiments with the theme of love and time, with the character’s attitude and emotion of regret and persistence. The film is structured within a time loop, where the protagonist is exploring together with the audience to escape, also a process of redemption to love again and complete a past regretted decision. This is to explore a very basic question that how love can generate between two individuals. The film then sets a goal of the protagonist to fall in love with his ex-girlfriend again in the time loop. His failures each time discourses the inconsistency, coincidence, and randomness of love quality.
Moreover, 'Relove' questions the authenticity and imitation of youth’s love within the dystopian setting focusing on the workplace oppression. The virtual game Relove in the film discusses the evolution of individuals’ values and behaviours of love across time, in consideration with the impact from digital culture on our relationship.