media + culture / gender + desire / genre gone digital
Tag: Genre Studies
Romance fiction is porn, but it’s a particular type of women-oriented feminist porn with a telos, or narrative goal. Romance fiction is teleological, building and driving toward this climax of the narrative. This narrative goal, I argue, is the happily-ever-after moment best encapsulated in the hero’s declaration of love. In other words, the moment where one most sees romantic fiction as pornography is, paradoxically, not in the sex scenes themselves… Instead, one sees romantic fiction as porn in the happily-ever-after ending, especially in that key moment of climax when the hero declares his love.
Catherine M. Roach (Happily Ever After, pg 101)
If feminist porn is first and foremost about highlighting women’s sexual pleasure and about the politics of producing that pleasure… then no cultural production better matches this mandate than romantic fiction… Central to romance fiction, as to feminist porn, is the depiction not simply of sexual activity but of women’s sexual satisfaction
Catherine M. Roach (Happily Ever After, pg 94)
There is an inexorable circularity in the dominant argument that condemns romantic comedy as the most mediocre and repetitive of genres because, since a romantic comedy is a love story with a happy ending, all romantic comedies end the same way. If we accept that there are other dimensions to the genre apart from the happy ending then the recognition of much greater formal and ideological variety will immediately ensue. The ending of the romantic comedy appears to be so highly conventionalised that it seems critically tendentious to draw so much attention to it, overlooking what makes the genre rich, varied and, in sum, culturally important.
Celestino Deleyto, The Secret Life of Romantic Comedies, 2009 (24)
Filmic texts are meeting points in which various genres come into contact with one another, vie for dominance and are transformed. Whereas in many films one genre is clearly dominant over the rest, many others register the presence of more than one genre. Genre mixing is, therefore, not particularly specific to a tradition of films, nor a period of the history of cinema, but something inherent to the workings of film genre
Celestino Deleyto, The Secret Life of Romantic Comedies, 2009 (14)
A circular argument has been more or less universally accepted whereby only those films that include certain conventions and a certain ‘conservative’ perspective on relationships are romantic comedies and, therefore, romantic comedies are the most conventional and conservative of all genres. If a film threatens to be mildly interesting in cinematic, narrative or ideological terms then it cannot possibly be a romantic comedy. It is a very popular argument and one that manages to contain the genre with very strict and narrow parameters
Celestino Deleyto, The Secret Life of the Romantic Comedy, 2009 (3)