A group of people wearing dress up clothes

A new film – part fiction, part documentary – explores London’s wildly creative and multifaceted East End with a colourful cast of characters. Directed by Oscar-winner Tim Yip, Love Infinity stars the renowned artistic duo Gilbert and George and ‘living sculpture’ Daniel Lismore, among many flamboyant others. Here, Maryam Eisler talks us through some riotous and poignant highlights

Worlds Collide
I love seeing Tim Yip (above, front row, right, sitting on the floor) and my fellow Love Infinity creative producer Mei-Hui Liu (far left, with the white collar) surrounded by such wonderful diversity of expression. Different worlds connected in the warmth of the moment, created by the film.

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A woman in black standing in front of a postered wall

It’s Utopian, Darling
While demonstrating the breathtaking creativity of the featured artists such as Chrissy Darling (left), this image speaks also to Tim’s sensibilities as a director. Love Infinity is not a narrative film. It’s an aesthetic voyage through London by an outsider, attuned to the communicative potential of costume, with the sculpture Lili (centre) as a probe. Lili becomes Tim’s alter ego in this Utopian world of endless possibilities.

A man in a hat and jacket saying hello to a plastic blonde woman in a pink dress

Welcome to Lobster Land
This is what Love Infinity is all about. Direct, unencumbered contact between the artist-film- maker Tim Yip (left), and the artists Pandemonia (centre) and Philip Colbert (right). We were in Philip’s Shoreditch studio, here. It was a sticky June morning in 2019, a year into what would become a two-year shoot and a four-year journey – and counting! Pandemonia (centre) must have been terribly hot in all that latex. In this scene, Philip is welcoming Pandemonia to Lobster Land, a digital town he created for his lobster alter ego.

A man wearing a beaded head scarf and armour

Living Art
Daniel Lismore and Lili (a mannequin) are the stars of Love Infinity. Christened ‘living art’ by the artists Gilbert & George, Daniel is a culture unto himself. While not exactly ‘living’, Lili is certainly art. Since their first appearance at an exhibition of Tim Yip’s work in Beijing in 2009, the ever-present Lilis have become the artist’s signature.

Vivienne Westwood in a grey blazer standing in a shop speaking to a man

On-Screen Poetry
After telling Tim her strategy for saving the world from global warming, Vivienne Westwood (above, centre) shared her love of ancient China. In the film, she quotes Confucius, and tells Tim she writes poetry in the Taoist tradition, which she recites to Lili in one of the film’s most memorable scenes. Such a beautiful meeting of worlds and minds.

people sitting around a table with a prototype on it

East Enders
Gilbert & George (far left, alongside other cast members Stella, Lili and Tim) are perhaps the most famous living artist duo, quintessentially British, and fêted at museums round the world. Yet when they were young artists in the 1960s, they were total outsiders. In this film they embody a certain East End quality, in that this part of London tends to produce and attract writers, thinkers, and particularly artists who, from the fringes of culture, come to define the centre.

Maryam Eisler is the film’s co- creative producer, alongside Mei-Hui Liu; and Benjamin Teare, who is the creative editor and first assistant director. ‘Love Infinity’ is available to view on Mubi

This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of LUX