'Je t'aime' : loving the cinema

Streaming Media

Additional Streaming Media


Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lingnan University

Document Type

Public Seminar




4:30 p.m. -- 6:00 p.m.


G11, Main Building, Lingnan University


The first part of this paper is a presentation of, and a commentary on, a central segment of a seminar by Jacques Derrida which dealt with the relationship he preferred to refer to as the ‘je t’aime’ (‘I love you’). Derrida argued in his seminar that uttering ‘je t’aime’ is an exemplary case of bearing witness, that the locution ‘je t’aime’ is always explicitly, and possibly implicitly, accompanied by something like “I swear to you that what I say is true”. In the second half of my paper, using the film Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1943) as an example, I explore the implications of Derrida’s exploration of the situations in which I say ‘I love you’ to another person through the question of what it means ‘to love the cinema’.



Additional Information


Dr. Laurence Simmons is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland. He has written widely on New Zealand film, has published a book on contemporary New Zealand painting and photography, The image always has the last word (2002), and has co-edited Derrida Downunder (2001), Baudrillard West of the Dateline (2003) and From Z to A: Zizek at the Antipodes (2004).

Cultural Magazine, 2004-05

The public seminar was part of the Cultural Studies Seminar Series, an ongoing series of informal talks, jointly organized by the Department of Cultural Studies and Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme (KFCRD), Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, in which researchers in dialogue with leading cultural critics, designers, producers and entrepreneurs working in and around Hong Kong. Aimed at an undergraduate audience, the Seminar used a “chat show” format to encourage students to join in the discussion of new cultural research and development projects.

Recommended Citation

Simmons, L. E. (2004, December 20). 'Je t'aime': Loving the cinema [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/216