Dialogue in film can be an incredible thing. Ever since Al Jolson burst onto the screen in The Jazz Singer all the way back in 1926, speech has been an almost ubiquitous and absolutely integral element of filmmaking. Dialogue is, generally speaking (we’re looking at you, The Artist) as important to a modern film as image, music or mise-en-scène. Often, dialogue is the most important element of a film. Without speech, we wouldn’t have immortal lines like “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”, or “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” or “Dude, where’s my car?” etched into our brains forever.

But while it’s sometimes easy to discern whether dialogue is good or bad – for instance, a comparison between the scripts of Geostorm and The Social Network – it might not necessarily be as obvious as to exactly what makes good dialogue and what makes bad dialogue. Once again, it’s come down to a video essay to help explain the intricacies of filmmaking. Now you’ll be able to impress people at fancy dinner parties by dropping extraordinary revelations like “Pulp Fiction has a better script than The Next Karate Kid.” Sit back and watch the admiration for your cinephelia flood in.

This particular video essay is here courtesy of the kindly folk over at YouTube channel Now You See It and we encourage you, if you have the time and inclination, to go check out more of the videos on that channel. Learn something and become a better person for it.