Book

Passionate Love and Popular Cinema: Romance and Film Genre

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Abstract

This book analyses the romantic drama and the way that passionate love is presented as the central storyline in popular cinema, drawing upon genre studies and sociology. Exploring the passionate love story as a cinematic form, it also contributes, through comparison, to research on the romantic comedy.
... Cultural studies theorists, such as Williams, would more likely, however, focus on 'the pleasures female audiences get from texts of all kinds' (Hollinger, 2012, p. 19). We often derive pleasure, for example, from simply watching films (a female gaze) with handsome male stars who -like beautiful women -are clearly coded for their to-be-looked-at-ness (Kaplan, 1997;Todd, 2014). ...
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With a sample of over 250 films released in the U.S. from 2000 to 2014, and with the benefit of over fifty years of feminist film theorizing on the issue of the characterization of women in both Hollywood and foreign films, our analysis investigates whether a particular film genre-romance movies-has begun to provide a diverse range of depictions of its female characters or has it continued to favour a stereotyped understanding of woman as subservient to the men in their lives. The central focus of our analysis concerns the ways in which romantic couples exhibit behaviours that the sociological and psychological literatures describe as either 'masculine' or 'feminine'. In addition to summarizing these data, we also describe at length a number of films that illustrate the various gender stereotypes. We conclude our analysis by addressing the thorny question of whether and how Hollywood movies could lessen the extent of sexism and gender inequality in Western society. ARTICLE HISTORY
Chapter
This chapter analyzes romance as a distinct genre phenomenon. Following cognitive and phenomenological theories of emotion, the author suggests an alternative to accounts of romance that define it merely in terms of the topic of “romantic love” or recurring plot lines. Romance is considered as a specific aesthetic experience that is created in the interaction of cognitive and affective character engagement, bodily responses to cinematic devices and culturally as well as generically shaped expectations of the representation of “romantic love” and intimacy. Drawing on research on the affective experience of media texts, in particular on the concepts of existential feelings and audiovisual metaphors, the chapter aims to propose key points of departure for further investigation on how audiovisual media elicit the feeling of romance and link it to shifting discourses and practices of love, intimacy and bonding.
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This article argues the original compositions in the romantic comedy Music and Lyrics (2007) and the romantic drama A Star is Born (2018) illustrate the differing depictions of love in the two films—one rooted in the specificity of the on-screen relationship and the other more general and rooted in the emotion of the relationship—which reflect a distinctive positioning within their respective genres. If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.1 —Orson Welles
Chapter
Love is a powerful ideology which permeates movie storylines. Narratives depicting hetero-romantic love are particularly pervasive and have been found to engender unrealistic expectations. Reverse Cinderella storylines, which depict the woman saving a man, are found to be particularly harmful, as they reinforce the popular myth that the love of a good woman has the power to turn a bad boy good. For decades, criminological theories have focused on identifying why offenders start committing a crime. However, more recently, a new focus has emerged which centers on identifying why offenders stop committing a crime. While many romance films suggest love is the reason for their fated transformation, criminological research suggests that multiple bio-psycho-social factors influence the onset and termination of criminal offending. This chapter aims to provide a new perspective on reverse Cinderella narratives by examining how theories of desistance and life-course criminology are represented in the films Step Up and A Walk to Remem ber.
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This study aims to identify and analyze representations of romantic-sexual kissing in Indonesian fiction films, those are Ada Apa dengan Cinta? (2001) and Ada Apa dengan Cinta? 2 (2016). This study uses the kissing concept of Linda Williams (2008) which links the presence of kisses to the terminology of romanticism and sexuality and Willem Frijhoff’s (2014) shape and type of kissing that influence the meaning of kisses. The kissing scenes in both films was identified by Roland Barthes’s semiotics method. The results of the study indicate that those two films contain romantic-sexual kissing that further strengthens romantic and sexual ideologies.
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This article investigates the filmic construction of two disparate but intertwining cultural practices: those engaging in the life-affirming rituals of romantic love and those performing the potentially self-destructive rituals of hard drug consumption. Discussing a number of key feature films from the (mini) genre “junkie love”, it aims to show what happens when elements of mainstream romantic drama merge with the horror conventions of the heroin addiction film. Drawing amongst others on Murray Smith’s theory of “levels of [spectator] engagement” and Greg Smith’s concept of the “emotion system”, the article concludes that junkie love films, using tropes of the romantic tragedy in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet, present a more complex and nuanced approach to drug addicts than the predominantly condemnatory media coverage-one that arguably invites the spectator’s understanding and compassion.
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Love and Eroticism - Mike Featherstone An Introduction On the Postmodern Uses of Sex - Zygmunt Bauman The Sexual Citizen - Jeffrey Weeks On the Way to the Post-Familial Family - From a Community of Need to Elective Affinities - Elizabeth Beck-Gernsheim On the Elementary Forms of Socioerotic Life - Sasha Weitman Bohemian Love - Elizabeth Wilson Otto Gross and Else Jaff[ac]e and Max Weber - Sam Whimster with Gottfried Heuer The Lost Innocence of Love - Eva Illouz Romance as a Postmodern Condition Balancing Sex and Love since the 1960's Sexual Revolution - Cas Wouters Citysex - Henning Bech Representing Lust in Public Love and Structure - Charles Lindholm 'Falling in Love with Love is Falling for Make Believe' - Mary Evans Ideologies of Romance in Post-Enlightenment Culture Introduction to Georg Simmel's 'On the Sociology of the Family' - David Frisby On the Sociology of the Family - Georg Simmel Sex and Sociality - Laura Rival, Don Slater and Daniel Miller Comparative Ethnographies of Sexual Objectification The Nazi Eye Code of Falling in Love - Andrew Travers Bright Eyes, Black Heart, Crazed Gaze 'On Me, Not In Me' - Cindy Patton Locating Affect in Nationalism after AIDS Seductions of the Impossible - Michael Richardson Love, the Erotic and Sacrifice in Surrealist Discourse The Lesson of Fire - Maria Esther Maciel Notes on Love and Eroticism in Octavio Paz's The Double Flame Love, Gender and Morality - Mike Hepworth Stephen Kern's 'Eyes of Love' Bodies, Sex and Death - Arthur W Frank
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This article links recent trends in romantic comedy to the debate about same-sex marriage. By comparing contemporary heterosexual romantic comedies to same-sex romantic comedies, it argues that Hollywood colludes with efforts by the state and the conservative Right to ensure that heterosexuality remains the privileged mode of desire and marriage, the sanctioned form of bonding. The unarticulated anxiety over same-sex marriage is thus revealed to be the potential loss of marriage as a means of disciplining desire to a heterosexual end. Ultimately, romantic comedy is a genre about citizenship, impressing on viewers the form their desire must take for full citizenship to be granted.
Article
James Cameron's Titanic is structured around a memory, old Rose's (Gloria Stuart) account of her voyage and love affair on the doomed ship when she was seventeen years old. The introductory scenes of the explorers searching Titanic, the “ghost ship,” for lost treasure, and Rose's frame story make Titanic a movie about going into the past and exploring a world that is now lost. At the same time, however, within the main narrative, there is a constant pull into the future.