Some novelists, playwrights, and filmmakers (Shaw, Voltaire, Jean-Luc Godard) work closer to the vein of the essayist than the storyteller. They may be able to create memorable characters and powerful scenes, but only for the sake of making ideas as tangible as people.
Among current American moviemakers, Todd Haynes is the best example of a storytelling essayist. His strategy is to score his intellectual points by doing riffs on previous,...
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