Is the novelty of cinematic romance lost in the 21st century?
CHAPTER ONE Historical Origins of Romance Films Romance films have been in existence since the 19th century. The original meaning of romance genre is that the plot centers on the theme of love or love between the main characters as they endure the challenges of love. This aspect of romance films was first explored in the year 1896 when an American short film, 20-second long, referred to as The Mary Irwin Kiss became the most popular film of the time (Sorlin 1980, p.15). The film showed a couple of kisses. The film was recreated from the two well-known stage actors’ performance in the hit Broadway play known as The Widow Jories. At the time, it was considered scandalous to see two people kiss and the image magnified on television. It was not only scandalous in America but also in other countries. However, the film changed the whole perspective of romance film. From a genre that was considered untouchable due to the cultural beliefs of the immorality of public kissing to a loved genre, romance films became more and more desired by audiences around the world. Therefore, the evolution of romance films started with a 20-second film that showed a couple kissing and romancing in public. The film also influenced romance films in other countries since some films began uproar due to the kissing scene. Ideally, a film in the 19th century was not as long as they are today. For instance, The Mary Irwin Kiss was 20 seconds long and was created by Thomas Edison. The film was filmed in Black Maria Studio, Edison’s studio, in Orange…
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