‘The roses are long gone but the chrysanthemums are magnificent’: Late-life creativity in Quartet and Youth.

Aagje Swinnen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article employs Boden’s (2004) understanding that creativity can be defined in terms of both ‘big C creativity’ associated with high culture and ‘small c creativity’ concerned with constructive, life-affirming strategies in its comparative study of the films Quartet (2012) and Youth (2015) focusing on their representations of ageing artists and musicians and the ways in which each film suggests that life experience informs artistic endeavour and vice versa. With each film based on varying scenarios of late-life ‘big C creativity’, the article explores the contrasts with ‘small c creativity’ that are suggested in storylines. The article argues that to varying degrees and with different ideological implications each film points to the importance of relationality and embodiment in late-life creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162–178
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Quartet
  • Youth
  • dementia
  • embodiment
  • gender
  • late-life creativity
  • relationality

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