On June 8 2010, over one hundred invited guests and BAFTA members met in the BAFTA members lounge to celebrate the opening of Zsuzsanna Ardó’s exhibition, The Spirit of Film. Inspired by the work of the early film theorist Béla Balázs, the exhibition uses text-image collages to explore the relationship between the image in silent and early sound cinema, and Balázs’s writings on expressive elements of the film language including the close-up, montage, sound, colour, lighting, camera set-up, and screen performance. The event doubled as a book launch for a new translation of Balázs’s early writings, Béla Balázs: Early Film Theory (ed. Erica Carter, transl. Rodney Livingstone) (Berghahn Books, 2010). The evening culminated in a screening of Casablanca (1942), a film presented in opening remarks by Erica Carter as a homage to that generation of exile film artists which numbered amongst its ranks both Balázs, and the Casablanca director and fellow Hungarian exile Michael Curtiz.
Photos by Rupert Sagar-Musgrave