Rose Troche’s If Not Love explores hatred, intolerance and the redemptive possibilities of love
"Writer, Director and Producer"
August 26, 2017
When an artist like Rose Troche enters a new medium, it’s a good thing. For virtual reality to become a fully realized art form like cinema, we will need creative provocateurs willing and able to transform technological possibilities into emotionally resonant works. Eventually VR is going to have its own Birth of a Nation or Citizen Kane, masterful works that completely alter the way we view what is possible. But before this can happen, VR is needs to continue to attract real artists with unique points of view. Rose is a professional writer, director and producer who has worked extensively in film and television, but more, she is an artist. She tells stories that mean something, about characters and communities who need their stories told.
"Film stopped being activism a while ago, for the most part. Everyone is trying to hit a trend because people are legitimately trying to have a career."
Her trajectory began in 1994 with a gritty self financed indie film called Go Fish detailing to lives and relationships of a group of young lesbians. The film, co written, produced and directed by Troche, eventually sold at Sundance and became both an iconic indie film and a turning point in independent lesbian cinema. She continued producing groundbreaking and heartfelt cinema before eventually transitioning into cable television where she served as an executive producer and episode director on the acclaimed Showtime series The L Word. She also directed episodes of Six Feet Under, Ugly Betty and more.
"New Digital Platform Television feels to me like old Indie Film."
Troche’s new 360° piece, entitled If Not Love, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers exhibition this year. It is both a provocative and intensely moving experience. Inspired by events such as the Bastile Day attack in Nice, the shooting at the Bataclan in Paris and, most noticeably, the attack at Pulse in Orlando, the experience explores issues of self hate and the redemptive possibilities of love. It is not an easy work to experience, but it is a necessary once. VR’s inherent emotional shortcuts are perfectly suited for such topics. You can look around, but you can’t turn away.
"There's all these things to the language of VR that I find so exciting as a maker."
Images (from top to bottom, left to right): 1. If Not Love, 2. Go Fish, 3. Go Fish, 4. The Safety of Objects, 5. The Safety of Objects, 6. The L Word (Loneliest Number), 7. Bedrooms and Hallways, 8. The L Word (Loneliest Number), 9. The L Word (Least Likely), 10. If Not Love, 11. If Not Love, 12. If Not Love.