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Amour Fou

The French have a term for it, for the impossible, absolute, self-punishing and strange love that ignites and, like a nitrate print in flames, cannot be extinguished. Amour fou has been a perennial subject of French cinema and especially those filmmakers closely aligned with the Surrealists who found in rapturous mad love a sublime expression of the creative spirit. Inspired in part by the recent restoration of Buñuel’s L’Age d’Or by the Cinémathèque Française, presented now in its full seventy-five minute version, as well as the atavistic celebration of Valentine’s Day, whose own dark origins have been furtively repressed, the Harvard Film Archive offers a selection of classic films plunging deep into the dark, giddy depths of amorous delirium.