Michael Haneke’s Amour (2012) is set in a single restricted location, the Parisian apartment in which a dying, suffering woman is being cared for by her husband. The film plots an obsessive formal language of spatial increments, organizing itself around minor but crucial distances across the geography of the home. Against and within this ordered relation of objects and space, extraordinary pain and terrible violence ultimately arrive. Eugenie Brinkema’s keynote explores this interrelation to suggest that figures of entrance, distance, and spatial incrementality articulate a formalized mode of work that is commuted over the course of the film to the paradoxical figure of an ethics of violence. Love—which absorbs within its affective extremity philosophical figures of completion, unity, fulfillment—is thereby radically altered. When read through the notion of discrete increment, an alternate tradition of the amative is opened up, one in which love names a brutal measurability of the world and an infinitely speculative relation to the ethical.
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