Courting the romance film

McWilliam, Kelly ORCID: (2021) Courting the romance film. In: Australian genre film. Routledge Advances in Film Studies. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), New York, pp. 138-152. ISBN 978-1-138-60314-1


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.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2021 00:01
Last Modified: 24 May 2022 00:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: romance film; romance genre; Australian genre film; Australian film
Fields of Research (2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190201 Cinema Studies
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190204 Film and Television
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4702 Cultural studies > 470214 Screen and media culture
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950204 The Media
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
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