HOLLYWOOD AND THE DIFFICULTY OF LOVING
'How can one still take an old Hollywood romance seriously? Nowadays, realism dominates the public discourse on love, pushing back the genre of romance to the ghettos where the chewing-gum of the heart is easily consumed, readily accessible on the sales shelves in supermarkets reserved for Harlequin books and on afternoon television. Amongst the richest societies of our planet, the notion of true and passionate love seems to be totally discredited.'
And yet, these films, which now have the status of a kitsch object and whose unlikely happy-endings, romantic sunsets and languid violins make the spectator of the third millenium giggle, preserve their own power of fascination. Perhaps because the vision of passion that they convey is less simple and naive than it may appear. Having selected a dozen romances from Hollywood's Golden Age, some very well known and others less, Laurent Jullier follows the unfolding of the love story, from the first meeting and gaze via the rites of seduction, intimate and social obstacles, the vagaries of possession to the harshness of disappointment. He discerns in these films a 'practical philosophy' of subtle love, which is sombre and sometimes despairing and usually associated with the cinema of modernity. Produced by a dream factory, these films which speak of the difficulty of loving, in the end don't 'tell stories.'