Funny feelings: taking love to the cinema with Woody Allen
thesisposted on 2021-05-24, 15:04 authored by Zorianna Ulana Zurba
This dissertation utilizes the films of Woody Allen in order to position the cinema as a site where realizing and practicing an embodied experience of love is possible. This dissertation challenges pessimistic readings of Woody Allen’s film that render love difficult, if not impossible. By challenging assumptions about love, this dissertation opens a dialogue not only about the representation of love, but the understanding of love. Rather than a Platonic love of unity, this dissertation combines the phenomenological work of Luce Irigaray and Jean-Luc Marion to describe a love of letting be. A love of letting be focuses on the lived experience of love as a phenomenology. In a love of letting be it is the intent of both lovers to regard each other as an unknowable whole, whom they must support and whose mystery they must protect. The transformations of four characters from Allen’s cinema, Allan Felix of Play it Again, Sam, Alvy Singer of Annie Hall, Cecilia of The Purple Rose of Cairo, and Mickey Sachs of Hannah and her Sisters serve as illustrations of how coming to a love of letting be is possible. The four characters, the nervous romantics, come to understand a love of letting be through their experience in the cinema. Their experience in the cinema comes to enlighten their understanding and living of love as a love of letting be.