Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only. Postwar Quest for a New Film Language. Hester Baer. Bela Balazs: Early Film Theory. Visible Man and The Spirit of Film. Bela Balazs, edited by Erica Carter. Theory of the Film: Sound by Bela Balazs. The Acoustic World It is the business of the sound film to reveal for us our acoustic environment,, the acoustic.

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The stereotyped finale of the old slapstick comedy was a general rash. The lover is lying in numb despair on the straw and refuses to budge.

The distance from the object and with it the size and number of objects in the frame, the angle and the perspective all change incessantly. Thus the inner man, too, will become visible.

Studies in Berlin and Paris. The animals that do not chew lose their teeth. Tie hero gets into hot water and runs away; he is pursued by one man, by two men, by thirty men and finally by eveiy single character in the film, iTOSpectivc of whether they had anything to do with the fugitive or not. But even so every speaking face on the screen retained an expressiveness just sufficient to render unpalatable the syn- chronized substitution of another language for the original.

It revealed to ballazs a new world — the world of micro- physiognomy which could not otherwise be seen with the naked eye or in everyday life. Even if I am present at every shot, if I look on as ths scene is enacted in the studio, I can never sec or feci the pic- torial effects which are the results tthe camera distances and angles, nor can I become aware of the rhythm which is their outcome.

The same can be observed in savages or primitives. But the old visible man no longer exists to-day and the new visible man is not yet in existence. It can show how the individual trait merges with the general, until they are inseparably united and form as it were nuances of one another. It is a transposition such as occurs in dreams, or in a trance.

This is a means of expres- sion completely specific to the film. There was also a change in taste accompanying the balaze of trend which sub- stituted a neo-naturalistic tendency for the neo-romanticism of Rostand and Maeterlinck on the western European stage. In one of Eisenstein’s films there is a priest, a handsome, fine figure of a man.


They show not a general picture of fear, but the horrible symphony of every phase in nine distinct mortal agonies of terror. Linder now crawls out from beneath the tub and ba: Nevertheless we can see something in his eye. Nothing shows in his indifferent face of what we know is ravaging his heart.

The girl does not tell him who she is but arranges a scene identical with the one in which her fate was decided. But the flickering close-ups, the ‘microphysiognomies’ speak. For such things have their own specific expressions super- posed on the feigned one. No title tells us.

Béla Balázs – Wikipedia

Thus a definite variety of film art with a distinctive style of its own was bom before tihie specific new metfiod of film art and the new form-language of the film was developd. This of course had its social and economic causes, which changed the general face of life. This film was made inan epic of bourgeois cinemato- graphy. The factory is working again and the orphanages now have plenty of orphans.

At our universities there are chairs for literature and all arts except that of the fjlm. A necessary result of this was — as I will show in detailed analysis later in connection with the dramaturgy of the film- that the more space and time in the film was taken up by the inner drama revealed in the ‘microphysiognomic close-up, the less was left of the predetermined 8, feet of film vilm all the external happenings.

The forms of expression of the silent film deveiofKd gradually, but the rate of development was fast enough and together with it the public developed the abiity to understand the new form-language.

Béla Balázs

In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Of course Charlie’s im- mortal figure is not the revolutionary image of the exploited factory worker or agricultural labourer, but that theoyr a ‘Lumpen- proletarian’ who defends himself with charming cunning against the heartlessness of the rich and revenges himself by petty means.

There is scarcely a technical trick of which the camera is capable, which Melies did not use in the very first years of cinematography.

The simple, immediately convinc- ing expression on a human face avoids the danger of over- ornate phrases, or rhetoric. But what Lessing said in his Thheory about Homer — that he balaze depicted anything but human actions and always described objects only inasmuch as they took part in that action— should to this day serve as a model for all epic and dramatic art as long as it centres around the presentation of man.


The manufacturer brings in blacklegs. All he hears is the leading melody, all the rest is blurred into a general murmur. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

The photographed theatre could not balxzs this very much. The film offers the means to establish such a science. A spear in the hand of a naked savage is not as comic as a pike in the hands of a Home Guard. For the camera can move even while they do not.

Béla Balázs – Monoskop

Speaks about film art as “the greatest instrument of mass influence ever devised in the whole course of human cultural history” and considers the cinematic education of the audience–teaching the public how to appreciate film art–of utmost importance. For the poor remnants of bodily expres- sion that remained to us the little surface of the face sujBficed, sticking up like a clumsy semaphore of the soul and signalling as best it could.

But in the course of the scene Asta Nielsen really falls in love with the young man. It may depict reality but has no imme- diate connection and contact with it. Such films were unsur- passed in showing the Strindbergian moods in the savagely antagonistic silences of human beings confined together in narrow spaces.

The seducer tells her with a sneer that he has deceived her. Then tears gather in the eyes and that ends the scene. Lines of development are never rigidly set. Retrieved on 24 May It did of course pervade the routine of painting, but it is much more important that il has come to be an indispensible element in the everyday life of civilized man.

In vain does his mouth smile ever so sweetly — the lobe of his ear, the side of a nostril shown in isolated magnification reveal the hidden coarseness and cruelty. Herein lies the psychological act of Identification’.