I like the way love scenes were handled in the films of the thirties and forties. Imagine how thrilling it must have been to have been a filmgoer in the days when gigantic, passionate heads loomed over audiences of silhouetted chain-smokers. Almost everybody smoked in those days, even some of the kids who sneaked in the exit doors.
Hollywood knew how to do love scenes in those days. They often started in the light...
...and then made their way into darkness. Maybe that was to assuage the Hays Office but I prefer to think that it was done to push the scene into the realm of myth and magic.
Screen lovers of that period (above) were usually confronted with some insurmountable obstacle like a pesky, killjoy spouse previously thought dead. That elevated their love to the level of tragedy.
Sometimes the obstacle was a disease. Here (above) Garbo has only hours to live but she struggles to keep that a secret from her lover who can't understand why she seems to be so tired and mushy all the time.
Sometimes though, the couple won the lottery and ended up being deleriously happy. They looked into the future and saw nothing but a continuation of their bliss.
I love the closeups (above) where one head studies the other.
And how can you beat beach kissing?
Maybe they're right, but I still prefer it. My Theory Corner gut tells me that you need a story that pays off...that builds to an exciting climax. Film is about hyper reality. You need a scene to hang that on, a memory the audience can take home with them.