BÉLA BALÁZS: EARLY FILM THEORY
Visible Man and The Spirit of Film
Translated by Rodney Livingstone
Edited by Erica Carter
Published in association with Screen
Béla Balázs’s two works, Visible Man (1924) and The Spirit of Film (1930), are published here for the first time in full English translation in Berghahn's Film Europa series. The essays offer the reader an insight into the work of a film theorist whose German-language publications have been hitherto unavailable to the film studies audience in the English-speaking world. Balázs’s detailed analyses of the close-up, the shot and montage are illuminating both as applicable models for film analysis, and as historical documents of his key contribution – such contemporaries as Arnheim, Kracauer and Benjamin – to critical debate on film in the ‘golden age’ of the Weimar silents.
Béla Balázs was a Hungarian Jewish film theorist, author, screenwriter and film director who was at the forefront of Hungarian literary life before being forced into exile for Communist activity after 1919. His German-language theoretical essays on film date from the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s, the period of his early exile in Vienna and Berlin.
Erica Carter is Professor of German Studies at the University of Warwick. Her writings on film include The German Cinema Book (co-ed. Tim Bergfelder & Deniz Göktürk, 2002), and Dietrich’s Ghosts. The Sublime and the Beautiful in Third Reich Film (2004).
Rodney Livingstone is Emeritus Professor of German at the University of Southampton. He is an American Translators Association award winner for his work on Detlef Claussen's Life of Adorno: Theodor W. Adorno: One Last Genius (2008). He is well known as a translator of books by Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, and Max Weber, among others.
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