In the winter of 2017–18, the Film Society at Lincoln Center held a series, Emotion Pictures: International Melodrama, organized by Dennis Lim, Florence Almozine, and Tyler Wilson. The occasion of this series offered an irresistible opportunity to comment on this most elusive and chameleon-like of film categories and to consider its status today. Williams takes issue with much of the programming stating that, “This is not a plea to insert more logic into an emotional/sensational category that has none, but rather a plea to recognize how old-fashioned and anachronistic it is to still consider “classical cinema” the mainstream—and melodrama, its generic exception.”

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