Why can’t screenplays be artworks?
Nannicelli, T. (2011). Why can’t screenplays be artworks? The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 69(4), 405-414.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5902
Reviewing film and literary theorists’ writing on the subject of the screenplay, one finds a tradition both of conceiving of the screenplay as a kind of artwork and of denying it art status. However, philosophers of art have been surprisingly quiet on this matter. I say ‘surprisingly’ because, pretheoretically, there seem to be some significant similarities between screenplays and theatrical scripts: typically, both are verbal objects which relate narratives that are intended to be enacted, either before a camera or a live audience. So, one might reasonably have the intuition that the screenplay is, like the theatrical script, a kind of dramatic literary work, and that the screenplay affords the same kinds of aesthetic interest and study as its theatrical cousin.