One of the unique features of film, argues Leo Braudy in his classic The World in a Frame: What We See in Films, 25th Anniversary Edition , is its once-for-all quality:

“In theater and music, there is always a text, a form to which every performance exists at least as a footnote. But in the film the text, the screenplay, is at best the skeleton from which the film grows, often unrecognizably. Film goes beyond the immediacy of stage performance to express the paradox of specific living beings creating a work once and for all . . . . If it is remade - and even if the remake is a better film than the original - the two films have equal status as creations; neither is a variation of some as yet unrealized ideal.”

In film, score and performance, script and enactment, are one.

More on: Film

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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