Heading into the festival, the Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun Sundance movie Love Me was one of this year’s most head-scratching titles.
The synopsis for the film reads: “A post-apocalyptic romance in which a buoy and a satellite meet online and fall in love after the end of human civilization.” This left many Sundance-bound industry attendees with a lot of questions and piqued interests. The title, which is competing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section, is one of the most anticipated of the fest.
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At the Friday premiere of the film, everyone finally got some clarity.
Love Me opens after humanity has died off, with the New York City skyline shown as being underwater. Yeun voices a satellite that was sent into space to hold the history of humans on Earth on the chance that some other lifeforms discover the planet. Stewart is a technologically advanced buoy that is left floating in the seas of a post-apocalyptic world and convinces the satellite that she is the lifeform that he is meant to help. After studying the internet and the archives of humanity, the two form a relationship that spans time.
Stewart and Yeun, who recently earned a Golden Globe and Emmy for his work on Netflix series Beef, were on hand at the Friday afternoon premiere of their love story from husband-and-wife directing team Sam and Andy Zuchero.
The film is a mix of live-action, CG animation and VFX, with Yeun and Stewart having shot their performances, rendered in both live-action and animation, in three weeks. “There is a version of this movie that has Steven and Kristen in motion capture suits the entire time,” said Andrew Zuchero. Joked Yeun, “It’s painful that that is not in the movie.”
Stewart and Yeun said they signed on because of the script and the originality of the concept, with Yeun noting there was another reason he agreed to star. “Not to put you on the spot, but you were already attached [to star], and I was like, ‘Oh, she’s dope,'” he added of his co-star.
Stewart is passionate about the project but has a difficult time expressing what the high-concept movie accomplishes. “This is the most honest relationship movie slash most honest people movie…,” said Stewart trailing off and adding, “Wow that was… thank god I am here!”
The night before the Love Me premiere, Stewart received the Visionary Award at the fest’s Opening Night Gala. “I really love this festival — my whole life I have loved this festival. I came here for the first time 20 years ago, I realized today. I could barely speak English when spoken to,” she said during her acceptance speech. “I got my first pair of Ugg boots, and I actually got to be where the cool kids were.”
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