All you need is Love In defence of the love story as the dominant form of cinematic storytelling.

Authors: Mathews, P.

Conference: PCA/ACA

Dates: 8-11 April 2009


This paper examines the cinematic structural forms that dominate screenwriting theory and argues that the love story not only transcends genre but offers the most narrative flexibility and freedom in terms of structure and form.

The strength of the love story model lies in its simplicity. The screenwriter need only establish the potential for a romantic relationship between characters to engage and hook an audience. The simplicity lies with its immediate establishment with an audience as a narrative thread, and its universality in terms of understanding and accessibility. The endurance of such an active question of will or won’t they get together, can clearly be seen in long running television series where the unrequited sexual tension of two or more characters can engage an audience almost indefinitely. With such a clear and recognisable active question established this paper will propose that a screenplay need not employ any other structural models or frameworks to engage an audience, either in terms of plot sophistication or character psychology. I will further propose that recent cinematic developments in this genre clearly define this narrative flexibility. Films such as three times (Hou Hsiao-hsien), 5X2 (François Ozon), 2046 (Wong Kar Wai) and Forty shades of blue (Ira Sachs). The romance clearly has a huge literary legacy but I believe it has been under explored in cinematic theory. It dominates almost all cinematic genres in that it occupies the vast majority of cinematic narratives in one form or another. If the romance isn’t the central story then it will often be the secondary or tertiary story. I will also explore why the romance has survived as a singular

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Phil Mathews

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