TFF: ‘This is Love’ Festival Review
The crown jewel of the 2018 Tallgrass Film Festival was the U.S. premiere of John Alexander’s documentary This is Love. Presented as this year’s Centerpiece Gala Film, the motion picture documents the career of Wichita’s own Rudy Love. And the town came out to embrace not only Rudy, but the entire Love family, with a sold out showing at the Orpheum Theater that was a long overdue celebration for the man.
The film, produced by Mick Fleetwood (of Fleetwood Mac) focuses specifically on the life of Rudy. The son of a gospel singer, he was introduced to the music industry by his father, and at a young age, he started his own groups. Then, combining with musical talents of his brothers and sisters (14 siblings total).
After he left Wichita, he went out to try the business on his own. The film shows the few highs and numerous downfalls that young musicians/songwriters suffered in the 60’s and 70’s. Under contract with several record companies, Rudy would write some of the best music in the industry, but those companies would take the songs for other artists, and even change the writing credits, so that the talent that Rudy possessed would never be seen. This is Love presents this talent throughout the film with video snippets of many of his greatest songs. Many were difficult to hear due to the roar of the sellout crowd as soon as the first few notes were recognized.
This is Love is filled with interviews that document Rudy’s career and talent. Many are from members of his family, including son Rudy Love Jr, describing the difficulties that Rudy had to go through to get his songs heard. Hearing from artists such as Fleetwood, George Clinton, Sly Stone truly show the impact that his music had on them, but musicians in the future.
This is Love allows audiences to experience a voice and talent that many may not have heard of. John Alexander’s deft direction presents a linear depiction of the struggles to achieve success. And even though the road was long and difficult, the lives he touched with his heart and soul will be everlasting. This is Love is a testimonial to Rudy Love’s greatness as a musician and as a man. It also revitalizes the blues – a style of music that deserves, no-DEMANDS to be heard.
Film Festival Review
This review of This is Love is part of our Tallgrass Film Festival 2018 coverage. For more coverage, visit the Tour Page.