Faculty of Arts


Love in/Loving the Cinema


This course looks at theme of love in the cinema. Why is it that the love story — the state of being in love, of searching for or recovering from love — has been such a staple of movie narratives? What can films teach us about love? And what about the love of cinema itself, cinephilia?

Through a number of theoretical readings that draw on a psychoanalytical understanding of the love experience — including texts by Alain Badiou, Roland Barthes, Stanley Cavell, Jacques Lacan, Jacques-Alain Miller, Jean-Luc Marion, Jean-Luc Nancy, Adam Phillips, Renata Salecl, Slavoj Žižek and Alenka Zupancic — we will address the working structures of the love event in the cinema from the exquisite anguish of feeling in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights to love as a repetitive, uncontrollable force in Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love; from the repeated refrain of "I love you" in Love Letters to the impossibility of love in the romantic melodrama Now Voyager.

We will explore how love in the cinema sustains and makes bearable the experience of love; how the love experience inaugurates a search for signs of love not only in the actions and bearing of the beloved but in the wider world.

Availability 2020

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Professor Laurence Simmons


MEDIA 716: 30.0 points



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