“Love Is…”: An Inaesthetic Inquiry on Love and Attention in Aureus Solito’s The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/

Abstract

Drawing from Alain Badiou’s concept of inaesthetics, which proposes that art conditions philosophical thought, this essay offers an inaesthetic reading of The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (2005) and suggests that it is a film that offers enabling possibilities in the thinking of love by providing the spectator with a different experience of cinematic attention in the visual field. The author suggests that the film raises the philosophical question “What is love?” and attempts to answer the very question it poses through punctual encounters, which are moments of cinematic interruption—described by Roland Barthes as “what I add . . . and what nonetheless is already there” (A Lover’s Discourse 55)—that may offer opportunities for philosophical speculation. This essay further argues that those punctual moments initiate a new form of attention that is not sustained by “visual pleasure,” as theorized by Laura Mulvey, but by the “movement of thought” (Badiou, Cinema 17). The film uses that mode of attention as a way to think about love while also suggesting that love itself is a form of attention.


Keywords

Alain Badiou, cinema, film-philosophy, punctum, Roland Barthes

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Professor
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faruk
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)