Main Article Content
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Since 2020 the International Journal of Ageing and Later Life uses a Creative Commons: Attribution license, which allows users to distribute the work and to reform or build upon it without the author's permission. Full reference to the author must be given.
Ask, H., Langballe, E. M., Holmen, J., Selbæk, G., Saltvedt, I. & Tambs, K. (2014). Mental health and wellbeing in spouses of persons with dementia: The Nord-Tro´ndelag Health Study. BMC Public Health 14: 413. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-413
Askham, J. (1995). The married lives of older people. In S. Arber & J. Ginn (eds.), Connecting Gender and Ageing: A Sociological Approach (pp. 87–97). Buckingham: Open University Press.
Berg, C. A. & Upchurch, R. (2007). A developmental–contextual model of couples coping with chronic illness across the adult life span. Psychological Bulletin 133(6): 920–954. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.133.6.920
Blood, R. O. & Wolf, D. M. (1960). Husbands and Wives: The Dynamics of Married Living. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Bosch, J. M. (2013). Amour killing? The Gerontologist 53(3): 518–519. DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnt027
Brody, J. E. (2013). The loving feeling takes a lot of work. The New York Times, 14 January. Available on http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/that-loving-feeling-takes-a-lot-of-work/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1 (Accessed: August 16, 2015).
Carstensen, L. L. (1992). Social and emotional patterns in adulthood: Support for socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging 7(3): 331–338. DOI: 10.1037/0882-7922.214.171.1241
Chivers, S. (2011). The Silvering Screen: Old Age and Disability in Cinema. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Cohen-Shalev, A. (2002). Both Worlds at Once. Art in Old Age. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Cohen-Shalev, A. (2009). Visions of Aging: Images of the Elderly in Film. Portland: Sussex Academic Press.
Connidis, I. A. (2006). Intimate relationships: Learning from later life experience. In T. M. Calasanti & K. F. Slevin (eds.), Age Matters. Re-Aligning Feminist Thinking (pp. 123–153). New York: Routledge.
Cox, P. (Director/Writer). (2000). Innocence [Motion picture]. Australia: Strand/New Oz Productions.
Derrida, J. (1995). The Gift of Death. Trans. D. Wills. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Dixon, R. A. (2011). Evaluating everyday competence in older adult couples: Epidemiological considerations. Gerontology 57(2): 173–179. DOI: 10.1159/000320325
Drake, V. C. & Drake, W. (2014). Amour (2012). Written and directed by Michael Haneke. Psychological Perspectives 57(1): 118–121.
Erikson, E. E. (1994). Identity: Youth and Crisis (Austen Riggs Monograph). New York: Norton.
Evans, D. & Lee, E. (2014). Impact of dementia on marriage: A qualitative systematic review. Dementia 13(3): 330–349. DOI: 10.1177/1471301212473882
Godwin, K. M., Swank, P. R., Vaeth, P. & Ostwald, S. K. (2013). The longitudinal and dyadic effects of mutuality on perceived stress for stroke survivors and their spousal caregivers. Aging and Mental Health 17(4): 423–431. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2012.756457
Gravagne, P. H. (2013). The Becoming of Age: Cinematic Visions of Mind, Body and Identity in Later Life. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Gronstad, A. (2013). Haneke’s Amour and the ethics of dying. In D. Sullivan & J. Greenberg (eds.), Death in Classic and Contemporary Film: Fade to Black (pp. 185–196). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Grundmann, R. (2012). Love, death, truth, Amour. Senses of Cinema 65, Available on http://sensesofcinema.com/2012/feature-articles/lovedeath-truth-amour/ (Accessed: August 16, 2015).
Guediguian, R. (Director/Writer) (2011). The Snows of Kilimanjaro [Motion picture]. France: Agat Films and Cie [French, English Subtitles].
Gullette, M. M. (2013). Amour: How can we embrace a film that is so clearly an advert for euthanasia? Enamoured as we are by Michael Haneke’s Oscar-winning film, we’re missing the dangerous social fallacies at its core. The Guardian, 28 February. Available on http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2013/feb/28/amour-advert-for-euthanasia (Accessed: August 16, 2015).
Gullette, M. M. (2014). Euthanasia as a caregiving fantasy in the era of the new longevity. Age Culture Humanities 1 (Spring). Available on http://ageculturehumanities.org/WP/euthanasia-as-a-caregiving-fantasy-in-theera-of-the-new-longevity/ (Accessed: August 16, 2015).
Kim, K. (Director/Writer) (2003). Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring [Motion picture]. Korea Pictures. [Korean, English Subtitles].
Haneke, M. (Director/Writer) (2012). Amour [Motion picture]. France: Le Films du Losange, [French, English Subtitles].
Hoffman, D. (Director) & Harwood, R. (Writer) (2012). Quartet [Motion picture]. UK: Headline Pictures.
Hopkins, J. (Director/Writer) (2008). Last Chance Harvey [Motion Picture]. USA: Overture Films.
Hutcheon, L. & Hutcheon, M. (2012). Late style(s): The ageismof the singular. Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities 4, 31 May. Available on http://arcade.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/article_pdfs/OCCASION_v04_Hutcheons_053112_0.pdf (Accessed: August 16, 2015).
Leigh, M. (Director/Writer) (2010). Another Year [Motion picture]. UK: Thin Man Films.
Levenson, R. W., Carstensen, L. L. & Gottman., J. M. (1993). Long-term marriage: Age, gender, and satisfaction. Psychology and Aging 8(2): 301–313. DOI: 10.1037/0882-79126.96.36.1991
O’Neill, D. (2012). Amour, ageing, and missed opportunities. BMJ Group Blogs, 23 November. Available on http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2012/11/23/desmond-oneill-amour-ageing-and-missed-opportunities/ (Accessed: August 16, 2015).
Ringstrom, P. A. (2014). Review of the movie ‘Amour’. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology 9(2): 157–161. DOI: 10.1080/15551024.2014.884525
Rose, H. & Rose, S. (2012). Grow old with me. Lancet 380(9849): 1219. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61699-7
Ruebner, T. (2011). Shirim Sotrim [Contradictory Poems]. Raanana: Even Hoshen. [Hebrew].
Ruebner, T. (2013). Achronim, Shirim 2011–2012 [Last Ones, Songs 2011–2012]. Tel Aviv: Keshev Leshira. [Hebrew].
Said, E. E. (2006). On Late Style: Music and Literature against the Grain. New York: Phantheon Books.
Scalambrino, F. (2013). Filming the impossible: Orpheus and the sense of community in ‘‘Amour.’’ Unpublished paper presented at Film-Philosophy Conference: Beyond Film, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July, 1–15. Available on https://www.academia.edu/4105027/Filming_the_impossible_Orpheus_and_the_sense_of_community_in_Hanekes_Amour (Accessed: August 18, 2015)
Stewart, G. (2013). Haneke’s endgame. Film Quarterly 67(1): 14–21. DOI: 10.1525/fq.2013.67.1.14
Quinodoz, D. (2014). Amour. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis 95(2): 375–383. DOI: 10.1111/1745-8315.12125
Weishaus, S. & Field, D. (1988). A half century of marriage: Continuity or change? Journal of Marriage and Family 50(3): 763–774. DOI: 10.2307/352645
Wijdicks, E. F. M. (2013). Film review: Palme d’Or-Awarded ‘Amour’ – The neurologic dying of a loved one. Neurology Today 13(5): 25. DOI: 10.1097/01.NT.0000428470.46396.2b