The recent success of movies such as Call Me By Your Name and Moonlight demonstrates a growing interest in films that portray sex and love outside of Hollywood conventional “romantic comedy” genre. What is the relationship between these more recent “art films” and the longer “arthouse” tradition, from the French and Italian New Waves of the 60s and 70s to the New Queer Cinema of the 1990s? What formal and narrative strategies do these films employ? And what do they teach us about the ethics and politics of our most intimate desires? In this course we will explore cinema’s capacity to shape our understanding of sex, love and desire, watching films and reading texts that interrogate the very nature of romantic relationships. Starting with contemporary art films such as Call Me By Your Name and Moonlight, this course will trace how this cinematic form took shape, taking students on a tour through cinema history with films by Pedro Almodóvar, Ingrid Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Isaac Julien, Rainer Maria Fassbinder, David Lynch, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Wong Kar-wai, among others. Students will learn how to read and write about film, including how to perform shot analysis and cultural critique, at the same time engaging with key texts in gender and sexuality studies from Plato and Freud to contemporary theorists such as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler.