London Aesthetics Forum
Self-Knowledge and Desire in Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows
Nick Stang (University of Toronto)
Co-Sponsored with BIMI, the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image
15 February 2019, 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London. WC1
In Douglas Sirk’s 1955 masterpiece All That Heaven Allows, rich widow Cary (Jane Wyman) must choose between her love for her handsome and individualistic gardener Ron (Rock Hudson), on the one hand, and the approval of her upper middle-class social world, on the other. In a very concrete sense, then, it is about a woman coming to know what she wants: the Thoreau-reading Ron or her friends at the country club? I will discuss the way in which the film dramatizes self-knowledge, in particular knowledge of one’s own desires, and how that self-knowledge is made possible through relationships with others.
The London Aesthetics Forum (LAF) is a Forum of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. With lectures on topics in aesthetics and philosophy of art, LAF aims to stimulate philosophical reflection on art. Our events are free and open to all.
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