In considering why it took so long for cinema to acquire sound it is important to compare between different historical periods. The slow-paced evolution of film sound (this was everything but a revolution) is not well known or documented in good measure because few people know just how diverse the environments for film screenings were during the first 30 years of cinema.
Although Walter Benjamin is frequently cited in film studies scholarship, there is little consensus on what he really offers the discipline. Working with several PhD students, I have tracked citations of Walter Benjamin in two major film studies journals, Cinema Journal and Screen from 1990 to 2014.
Christian Metz is remembered today as having almost single-handedly transformed the culture of film studies. This widely held view was summarized by one commentator, who wrote that “with Metz a new research paradigm is born, as well as a new generation of scholars.