As is well known, language has an advantage over film, owing to several thousand years of tradition. Modern Western languages derive from the differentiated languages of antiquity, which in turn are influenced by more archaic languages. If the cinema were to cultivate the narrative forms necessary to cope with the d'Aurevilly text over a longer period of history, at a later date a whole range of filmic metaphors would be available to filmmakers, allowing them to achieve the same economy of narration as is now available in the figurative and conceptual ranges of language.... Only when the cinema will have sufficiently enlarged its tradition of figuration will it be able to develop abstractions and differentiations comparable to those of literature. Because it already includes language anyway, film would actually have the capacity to articulate meanings that elude the grasp of verbal expression.
-Edgar Reitz, Alexander Kluge, and Wilfried Reinke (tr. Miriam Hansen), form "Word and Film," in October 46 (Fall 1988), p. 86.