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Film Review

Volume 14 • Number 2

Fall 2007


Scribal Error: Copying Beethoven and the Pitfalls of Perspective in Cinematic Portraiture


by Robynn J. Stilwell

In her DVD commentary on Copying Beethoven, director Agnieszka Holland makes a pertinent analogy between painting and film: in the development of figurative representation—portraiture—a realistic image was prized up until the point at which photography made such representation redundant. The need for accurate physical representation was superseded by a desire for a more subjective representation. She hoped her film would present Beethoven less as a photograph and more as a Picasso.

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