This article investigates the engagement of the modernist avant-garde with film in the 1930s. It offers a radical reassessment through study of the journal Life and Letters To-Day. It argues that from 1935 this journal sought a wider audience and incorporated film to a wider culture. The journal continued the project of the journal Close Up, with the same patronage and many of the same contributors. This article shows that ideas about the earlier positions adopted in Close Up may be misconceived and illustrate how ideas about key 1930s innovations—sound, color, editing and television—evolved between the journals.