Courting the romance film

Edited book (chapter)


McWilliam, Kelly. 2021. "Courting the romance film." McWilliam, Kelly and Ryan, Mark David (ed.) Australian genre film. New York. Routledge. pp. 138-152
Chapter Title

Courting the romance film

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3137
Book TitleAustralian genre film
Authors
AuthorMcWilliam, Kelly
EditorsMcWilliam, Kelly and Ryan, Mark David
Page Range138-152
SeriesRoutledge Advances in Film Studies
Chapter Number9
Number of Pages15
Year2021
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN9781138603141
9780429469121
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429469121-9
Web Address (URL)https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429469121-9/courting-romance-kelly-mcwilliam?context=ubx&refId=66f4cc21-6aa1-483d-a606-2ec305793d1d
Abstract

This chapter examines how the conventions of the romance film or ‘romantic drama’ have been enunciated in Australian films. It argues that while the genre has been employed (albeit occasionally) since the beginning of Australian cinema, it has by no means figured as a frequent or prominent genre. Rather, for much of Australian film history, romance has been actively eschewed. Since the New Wave of the 1970s and 1980s, however, there has been a tentative re-embrace of the genre, although these films are just as likely to emphasise the negative potential of romance than the reverse. These dynamics shift more (but not exclusively) towards positive depictions of romance in the 1990s and 2000s—with the release of films like Paperback Hero (Antony Bowman, 1999), Innocence (Paul Cox, 2000), Japanese Story (Sue Brooks, 2003), Australia (Baz Luhrmann, 2008), The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013), Last Cab to Darwin (Jeremy Sims, 2015), and Holding the Man (Neil Armfield, 2015), among others—despite death being a recurrent narrative conclusion. This chapter sets out to survey this cycle of films and to consider their place in Australian cinema more broadly, ultimately arguing that post-millennial romance films reflect a shift towards Hollywood romantic conventions, while frequently transposing them into Australian outback settings.

Keywordsromance film; romance genre; Australian genre film; Australian film
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470214. Screen and media culture
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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