Nick Stang (University of Toronto)

“Self-Knowledge and Desire in Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows

15 February 2019, 18:00-21:00, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square. 


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.

Booking requested via the following link: