Aimée, Jaguar and gender melancholia

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Abstract:

This article examines Max Färberböck’s first feature film, Aimée & Jaguar: Eine Liebe grer größer der Tod/Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Larger than Death (1999), to consider various ways the female protagonists subvert and/or encourage a range of melancholic readings (Freud, the Mitscherlichs, Butler). The filmic retelling of the true love story set in 1940s Berlin between an Aryan wife and mother of four and an underground Jewish lesbian, who eventually perishes under the National Socialist regime, displays a melancholic mise-en-scène, editing style and plot via its flashback to the story of one true/lost love. This article examines the traditional understanding of melancholia alongside various ideas relating to screened lesbianism, including femmeinisation, lesbian narcissism and Judith Butler’s theory of gender melancholia, to offer a more upbeat, albeit controversial, re-reading of the film.

Keywords: German film; Jewish status; Second World War; lesbianism; melancholia; narcissism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/seci.9.1.35_1

Affiliations: The University of Edinburgh

Publication date: November 21, 2012

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  • Studies in European Cinema provides an outlet for research into any aspect of European cinema and is unique in its interdisciplinary nature, celebrating the rich and diverse cultural heritage across the continent. The journal is distinctive in bringing together a range of European cinemas in one volume and in its positioning of the discussions within a range of contexts - the cultural, historical, textual, and many others.
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