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Le mélodrame filmique revisité / Revisiting Film Melodrama

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Dominique Nasta, Muriel Andrin and Anne Gailly

Dans une confrontation inédite des approches francophones et anglo-saxonnes signées par des experts internationalement reconnus aussi bien que par de jeunes chercheurs, Le mélodrame filmique revisité propose d’ouvrir le champ d’études vers de nouvelles perspectives historiques et esthétiques. En effet, le mélodrame souffre, depuis ses débuts cinématographiques, d’une exploitation péjorative qui restreint le « mode mélodramatique » à la manipulation des émotions du public et à une representation excessive sur le plan esthétique. Minimisé, expédié, ce genre mérite pourtant d’être enfin l’objet d’une revalorisation à travers des approaches innovantes et un corpus élargi à la télévision, l’animation et l’internet.
Revisiting Film Melodrama brings forth pioneering French and English-speaking approaches from internationally known experts as well as by young researchers, aiming to broaden the research area through new historical and aesthetic perspectives. Indeed, film melodrama has too often been under-estimated, most surveys having essentially focused on the audience’s emotions and on excessive representations, often neglecting the complexities of the «melodramatic mode». More than ever, melodrama as film genre requires a comprehensive, multi-layered re-appraisal which includes references to the genre at work on television, animation and the internet.
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“My God! Your life is like a soap opera!” The Complex and Paradoxical Universe of the Soap: The Bold and the Beautiful (Pascal Lefèvre)

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The Complex and Paradoxical Universe of the Soap: The Bold and the Beautiful

Pascal LEFÈVRE

KU Leuven & Sint-Lukas Brussels

In episode 5153 of The Bold and the Beautiful (originally aired in the U.S. on September 26, 2007) one of the recurring characters Nick exclaims to his love interest Brooke: “My God! Your life is like a soap opera!” Such tongue-in-cheek humour is only one example of the various characteristic paradoxical traits of The Bold and the Beautiful. As Martha Nochimson has remarked already soap operas contain an “almost unprecedented ability to grant to melodrama a unique (non-satiric) form of self-awareness.»1 In this analysis three self-reflexive characteristics of The Bold and the Beautiful will be analysed: firstly its non-realistic interdiegetic time, secondly its quite changeable motivations and altering looks of the characters and finally, and thirdly its conflicting ethics. They are not necessarily unique for this particular soap, but there are aspects that are seldom discussed in scholarly works on soaps. Before discussing these three particular traits, I will shortly present The Bold and the Beautiful and recapitulate some crucial notions about soaps in general and point out some crucial differences between melodrama in feature film and in television soap.

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