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The Modernist Screenplay

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting ((PSIS))

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This chapter revisits the central arguments of the book, most importantly the argument that it is possible and necessary to read screenplays from both functional and literary perspectives. It shows that the modernist screenplay could challenge and renew the practices of literary writing because of its embedment in film production, and conversely, the modernist screenplay could challenge and renew the practices of filmmaking because of its embedment in literature. The chapter argues for a pluralist approach to screenwriting, which is based on the double, functional and literary reading of scripts. It concludes with a glimpse into the history of experimental screenwriting after the advent of sound film.

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  1. 1.

    The provenance of the term “emotional scenario” remains unclear. It is usually ascribed to Sergei Eisenstein with reference to his article “On Screenplay Form” (1928); however, Eisenstein does not use the word combination “emotional scenario” in the article. He writes that the screenplay “is merely a shorthand record of an emotional outburst” (1988, 134) and that it “sets out the emotional requirements” (135), but no word of an “emotional scenario.” By contrast, Viktor Shklovsky uses this exact word combination in his 1931 book How to Write Screenplays (Shklovsky 1931, 23). Thus the term most likely emerged somewhere between 1928 and 1931, but when and where exactly, I was not able to clarify.


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Correspondence to Alexandra Ksenofontova .

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Ksenofontova, A. (2020). Conclusion. In: The Modernist Screenplay. Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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