“Equally mixed”: artistic representations of old love

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Amir Cohen-Shalev
Esther-Lee Marcus

Abstract

Michael Haneke’s (2012) film Amour is used as a point of departure for discussing a spectrum of artistic representations of ‘‘old love,’’ a phenomenon that is still little understood. While most critics have focused on euthanasia when referring to the film’s dramatic climax, its late-life perspective of love has been marginalized. Analyzing Amour, as well as other recent cinematic and poetic texts, we challenge the widespread midlife and ageist perception of ‘‘April love,’’ contrasting it with different views from within old love. Our reading of Amour illustrates the effects of intense, all-encompassing, and sealed intimacy in advanced old age and sheds light on potential consequences it may have on the decisions and lives of the people involved. We conclude by discussing how certain forms of love, seen from within, unfold in tandem with age or life phases that affect the pace, emotional, and interpersonal nature of the partnership.

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