Every narrative must have its language, not just that which channels it or conveys it (the medium), but that which more actively communicates it. The language of film narrative has no precise equivalents for phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and chapters, or for nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives, or for figures of speech, or for colons, semi-colons, hyphens and full stops, but it is capable of producing the kinds of effects gained by some of these devices, as it is of producing effects like those gained in the theatre by act and scene divisions. It uses a language of conventions but it is also, ‘like life itself’, excessive, in that it is always using and often being understood in terms of elements which cannot be contained within any single system of conventions. The excess includes that which we register common-sensically as ‘real-life’, that which is usually the essential subject matter, that which is likely to appear autonomous-recorded but not significantly interfered with by the recording medium-that which may appear to elude systematic appraisal.