When you take a close look at the popular, childlike poem, a fragment of which we used as the name for this new section of the Mastercard OFF CAMERA festival, it reveals a sense of longing and a desire for love. These universal feelings have been at the core of a variety of film genres for more than a century. Here, we wanted to examine one of them more closely: the romantic comedy, which reached its peak of popularity in the 1990s, but has been pushed to the cultural margins in the new millennium, panned by critics and viewers alike—particularly those with a sophisticated taste in film. It became synonymous with trashy cinema—painfully predictable, full of worn-out plot turns, reinforcing stereotypes around boringly romantic femininity and prudent masculinity. But in recent years this genre, which had essentially become a thing of the past, has experienced a renaissance, evidenced not only by the love-themed films produced by Netflix, but also by a sudden interest in romantic comedies from both independent and mainstream filmmakers. As it turns out, romantic comedies not only give the artist a lot of room for creative expression when it comes to creative reimagining and playing with traditional ideas around power dynamics, but above all they’re invariably a popular favourite—and not only for mainstream audiences. We hope that this open secret will be confirmed by the bold and innovative romantic comedies shown at Mastercard OFF CAMERA.
ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE