On Individual Films: New & Featured
See also: Individual Films A to C; D to H; I to M; N to Q; R to S and T to Z.
Far From Heaven: BFI Film Classics
Todd Hayne's film Far From Heaven has been hailed as a homage to 1950s Hollywood melodrama, although anyone tempted to take the film at face value should be warned that it aims to subvert as much as celebrate that genre. John Gill provides a revealing insight into Haynes confronts issues of race, sexuality and class in a suburban 1950s American neighborhood. Softcover, 110 pp. $16.95.
The Godfather: BFI Film Classics
Jon Lewis's study begins with a close look at the film's audacious visual style, paired with the movie's principal themes: Vito and Michael's attempt to balance the obligations of business and family, their struggle with assimilation, the temptations and pitfalls of accumulation, and the larger drama of succession from father to son, from one generation to the next. Softcover, 96 pp. $16.95.
Grey Gardens: BFI Film Classics
The Maysles brothers' Grey Gardens (1975) is one of the most important documentary films of the past thirty years. In the past decade the film has gained status as a cult classic, inspiring both a Broadway musical and a 2009 HBO feature film. Tinkcom argues that Grey Gardens reshaped documentary cinema by moving the non-fiction camera to the heart of the household, a private space into which filmmakers had seldom previously ventured. Softcover, 94 pp. $16.95.
Shoah: BFI Film Classics
Claude Lanzmann's epic 1985 film Shoah is the distillation of more than 350 hours of footage gathered over 11 years. The film tells the story of the Holocaust through interviews with survivors of the extermination camps as well as some of the perpetrators of the genocide. Vice explores Shoah both as cinema and as an example of Holocaust representation. Softcover, 98 pp. $17.00.
The Servant: BFI Film Classics
Amy Sargeant's compelling and meticulous study of Joseph Losey's The Servant (1963) sets the film in the context of a long tradition of fictional depictions of the master-servant relationship. Sargeant points out that while many of these representations are played for comic effect, that of the 'young master' Tony and his manservant Barrett unfolds in a far more sinister manner. Softcover, 116 pp. $17.00.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers: BFI Film Classics
Barry Keith Grant
In the first comprehensive critical study of the film, Barry Keith Grant traces Invasion's historical and generic contexts to explore the importance of Communism and confromity, post-war modernity and gender politics in order to understand the film's cultural significance and metaphorical weight. Softcover, 110 pp. $16.95.
The Best Years of Our Lives: BFI Film Classics
Despite winning nine Academy Awards, Best Years was soon engulfed in political conflict from both the right and the left. Sarah Kozloff's discussion of the film's development, production and reception history draws on archival research to shed new light on our understanding of this much-loved movie, and to bring it back where it belongs: it our collections, in our libraries, and in our hearts. Softcover, 110 pp. $17.00.
Music on Film: A Hard Day's Night
This engrossing book details A Hard Day's Night frantic six-week shoot, the lively recording sessions that resulted in seven great new Beatles songs, and the film's remarkable impact on popular culture. Softcover, 154 pp. $11.99.
With 165 colour images, this stunning visual companion to Anonymous captures the striking recreation of the Elizabethan period that imagines Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, as the true author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare. Softcover, 165 pp. $26.50.
The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead
Christian Sellers & Gary Smart
With contributions from Don Calfa, Clu Gulager, Brian Yunza, Linnea Quigley, James Karen, Ken Wiederhorn, William Butler and many more, as well as a wealth of previously unseen photographs from behind the scenes, this is the ultimate guide to "Return" franchise and the creative personalities who brought the horror to life. Softcover, 288 pp. $27.95.
Julie Taymor's The Tempest, with a brilliant cast headed by Helen Mirren as Prospera, offers a gripping interpretation of Shakespeare's tragicomedy, using the resources of contemporary filmmaking to deepen the experience. Here, Taymor's screenplay, adapted from the original work, is illustrated with magical images from the film, to create a new and richly visual edition of many readers' most beloved Shakespeare play. Hardcover, 172 pp. $32.95.
Farewell My Concubine
Helen Hok-Sze Leung
Farewell My Concubine, part of the "Queer Film Classics" series, is a thought-provoking consideration of Chen Kaige's acclaimed 1992 Chinese film about two male Peking opera stars and the woman who comes between them, set against the political turmoil of a China in transition in the mid-20th century. Softcover, 129 pp. $14.95.
Set in a contemporary middle-class Hindu household in the heart of Delhi, Fire is the story of Radha and Sita, the wives of two brothers, who fall in love with one another. This entry in the "Queer Film Classics" series delves into the controversial film by the Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, the first on lesbian love to have a commercial release in India. Softcover, 172 pp. $14.95.
Thomas Waugh & Jason Garrison
Montreal Main, is both a great indie film and a great queer film; a fascinating cinema verite take on North American social mores in the 1970s, about a twentysomething photographer living among the outcasts, junkies, and artists populating Montreal's bohemian neighborhood. This entry in the "Queer Film Classics" series examines the history, politics, and aesthetics of this landmark film. Softcover, 269 pp. $14.95.
The Moment of Psycho
In this fascinating analysis, renowned film critic David Thomson vividly situates Psycho in Alfred Hitchcock's career, re-creating the mood and time when the seminal film erupted onto film screens worldwide and effectively reinvented the standards of cinematic sex, violence, and horror. This low-budget film from a sixty-year-old British director, all of a sudden, represented everything that America wanted from a film -- and, as The Moment of Psycho brilliantly demonstrates, still does. Softcover, 183 pp. $16.50.
Fifth Avenue, 5AM, Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany's
This delectably witty New York Times bestseller offers a behind-the-scenes look, unlike any before, into the conception and making of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Sam Wasson also examines the impact and influence of Audrey Hepburn's classic performance as Holly Golightly, not to mention that little black dress... Hardcover, 231 pp. $32.95.
Night and the City
An in depth look at the production, development and critical reception of this classic masterpiece of the film noir. Softcover, 96 pp. $17.00.
West Side Story: Music on Film
With tremendous detail on the songs, stars and stories of how this classic movie musical was made, this entry into the Music on Film series is a must for fans of the universally beloved West Side Story. In addition to giving background on the history and making of the film, there is also a look at the aftermath of the film's big boom. Softcover, 175 pp. $14.50.
This is Spinal Tap: Music on Film
John Kenneth Muir
From "Big Bottoms" to "Stonehenge", Spinal Tap has remained the greatest fake rock bandsof all time. In this entry in the Music on Film series John Kenneth Muir tracks the history, creation and legacy of one of the most hilarious films of all time. This book definitely goes to 11. Softcover, 138 pp. $14.50.
The Making of The Empire Strikes Back
In this lavish thirtieth-anniversary tribute to the blockbuster film, author J.W. Rinzler draws back the curtain to reveal the intense drama and magnificent wizardry behind The Empire Strikes Back. Using his unlimited access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its hidden treasures of previously unpublished interviews, photos, artwork, and production mementos, Rinzler brilliantly highlights every effort and detail that went into the making of this classic movie. Hardcover, 361 pp. $99.00.
The fourth collaboration between director Michael Winner and actor Charles Bronson, Death Wish was the apotheosis of a succession of films hitting screens during the 70s that tacked against the prevailing liberal wind in Hollywood. In this original monograph, Christopher Sorrentino examines Death Wish in its various contexts -- as movie, as provocation, as social commentary, as political tautology, and as depiction of urban life. Softcover, 98 pp. $14.50.
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
R. Barton Palmer
This book shines light on the complex and fascinating adaptation process that brought Harper Lee's classic novel to the screen. Softcover, 262 pp. $26.00.
Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg
Through his reinvention of half-forgotten film genres, his use of abandoned techniques from the early history of cinema, and his unique editing style, Maddin has created a critically successful body of work that looks like nothing else in Canadian film. Though an exploration of My Winnipeg's major thematic concerns -- memory, the cultural archive, and how people and objects circulate through the space of the city -- author Darren Wershler contends that this ostensible documentary is psychologically and affectively true without being historically accurate. Softcover, 145 pp. $17.95.
Allan King's A Married Couple
In this detailed monograph, Zoe Druick examines Allan King's A Married Couple in the context of the late 1960s cultural and cinematic landscape. Through a scene-by-scene synopsis and an analysis of contemporary responses to the piece, she traces it's influence on documentary and Canadian filmmaking. Softcover, 106 pp. $16.95.
Gilda: BFI Film Classics
This in-depth study of the film provides a detailed account of its production history, including attempts at censorship by the Production Code Administration. Also analyzed are the film's characterisation and narrative, cinematography, formal devices such as the use of voiceover narration, mise-en-scene and preoccupation with sexual perversity. Softcover, 122 pp. $17.95.
Back to the Future: BFI Film Classics
Andrew Shail & Robin Stoate
This study of the popular film places it in the historical context of Reaganite America and the cinematic context of the 'New New Hollywood' and Robert Zemeckis's film-making career. The authors pay particular attention to the film's attitudes towards teen culture of the 1980s and 1950s, the latter being depicted in the film as a period in which traditional 'American' values and gender roles held sway to the benefit of family and community life, in contrast to the more troubled decade from which Marty McFly begins his time-travelling adventures. Softcover, 117 pp. $18.00.
2001: A Space Odyssey
BFI Film Classics
This insightful study explores the complex orgins of the film, the unique shape it took and the extraordinary impact it made on contemporary audiences. Drawing on new research in the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the University of the Arts London, this book challenges many of the widely-held assumptions about this, one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time. Softcover, 116 pp. $18.00.
The Art and Making of The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Written by insider Michael Singer, this book gives readers insider access to the cast, crew, sets, and production. In pitch-perfect tone, Singer takes fans on a guided tour from the film's inception in a high school auditorium in Southern California to its completion on the elaborate stages and sets, with stops along the way at some of New York City's most respectable landmarks. Hardcover, 143 pp. $41.00.
Sweet Smell of Success: BFI Film Classics
James Naremore's masterly study of Sweet Smell of Success offers new information about the many revisions of the screenplay, the production company's negotiations with censors and the tense circumstances under which the film was shot and received by the public. Naremore places the film in its historical context, arguing that it functioned as the revenge of the Hollywood left against a repressive political and media environment that was beginning to change and momentarily lose its power. He also provides a detailed commentary on the finished product, analysing the important contributions of its several talented creators. Softcover, 110 pp. $18.00.
La Regle du Jeu
In this essential companion to one of the great films of world cinema, Keith Reader focuses on La Regle du Jeu in the context of both the time in which it was made and the currents of intertexuality by which it has traversed. In all, this monograph makes a convincing case as to why the film remains so central to French cinema and to the history of French and indeed European culture. Softcover, 124 pp. $29.50.
Joyce Wieland's The Far Shore
Johanne Sloan's examination of Joyce Wieland's 1976 film The Far Shore provides a smart, original, and readable introduction to the film itself, while situating it within the larger context of Wieland's extensive and varied artistic production. Softcover, 134 pp. $16.95.
Alice in Wonderland: A Visual Companion
In this eye-popping companion to the hit film, Mark Salisbury presents us with the concept artwork, set and costume designs, and all of the other visual developments that Tim Burton and his talented crew used to bring this classic story to the screen. Hardcover, 248 pp. $60.00.
Star Wars: BFI Film Classics
Will Brooker's illuminating study provides a close analysis of Star Wars as a film, carefully examining its shots, editing, sound design, cinematography and performances. Placing the film in the context of George Lucas's previous work, from his student shorts to his 1970s features, Brooker's fascinating argument is that Star Wars is not, as Lucas himself has claimed, a departure from his earlier cinema, but actually a continuation of his experiments with sound and image. Softcover, 96 pp. $16.95.
La Grande Illusion: BFI Film Classics
This compelling study places La Grande Illusion in the context of director Jean Renoir's involvement with the left-wing Popular Front, which was split between supporters of an anti-Fascist war and believers in peace at all costs. Author Julian Jackson highlights the film's ambiguity in its treatment of patriotism and pacifism, its unforgettable performances, and Renoir's highly individual filming style. Softcover, 116 pp. $16.95.
The Making of Some Like it Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie
Tony Curtis & Mark A. Viera
Some Like it Hot occupies a unique place in American culture. This beloved classic showcases five comic geniuses: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, I.A.L. Diamond, Billy Wilder, and Marilyn Monroe. It has been honored by the American Film Institute as the "Funniest Film of All Time." It has contributed quotes, styles, and stories to film lore. Yet the full story of its making has never been told -- until now. Hardcover, 232 pp. $30.95.
Casablanca Movies and Memory
Marc Auge was eleven or twelve years old when he first saw Casablanca. The film -- with its recurring scenes of waiting, menace, and flight -- occupies a significant place in Auge's own memory of his uprooted childhood and the wartime exploits of his family. Seamlessly weaving together film criticism and memoir, this book moves between Auge's insights into the filmgoing experience and his reflections on his own life. Softcover, 104 pp. $23.95.
The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox
This is an intricate and lavishly illustrated look behind the scenes at the extraordinary talent and attention that went into the creation of the film -- from Wes Anderson's storyboards, notes, and sketches to in-depth explorations of the construction of the puppets, and from Eric Anderson's early artwork for the cast of characters to Ray Lewis's beautiful photographs of the sets. Hardcover, 185 pp. $42.00.
Gods and Monsters
Bill Condon's Gods and Monsters was one of the most widely acclaimed movies of 1998 and it garnered Oscar nominations for the performances of Ian McKellen and Vanessa Redgrave, and a win for Condon's screenplay. Noah Tsika's book examines the movie from a variety of perspectives, highlighting the complexity and significance of its achievements, including its fusion of fantasy and biography. Softcover, 169 pp. $15.95.
Star Trek: The Art of the Film
Mark Cotta Vaz
This a lavishly illustrated celebration of J.J. Abrams' new vision of the greatest space adventure of all time. Mark Van Cotta traces the evolution of the movie's look through a stunning array of previously unpublished pre-production art, concept sketches, costume and set designs, unit photography and final frames. Hardcover, 160 pp. $37.00.
Responses to Oliver Stone's Alexander: Film, History, and Cultural Studies
Paul Cartledge & Fiona Rose Greenland
This fascinating collection of essays scrutinizes the Oliver Stone film from its inception and design to its production and reception, considering such questions as: Can a film about Alexander be both entertaining and historically sound? How do the goals of screenwriters and directors differ from those of historians? How do Alexander's personal relationships -- with his mother Olympias, his wife Roxanne, his lover Hephaistion, and others -- affect modern perceptions of Alexander? Several of the contributors also explore reasons behind the film's tepid response at the box office and subsequent controversies. Softcover, 370 pp. $32.95.
Artificial Intelligence: From Stanley Kubrick to Steven Spielberg: The Vision Behind the Film
Jan Harlan & Jane M. Struthers
Copiously planned and researched by Stanley Kubrick since 1984, A.I. Artificial Intelligence would only reach the screen after the great director's death when, in 2001, Steven Spielberg took over the project. This book tells the fascinating story about how two of the greatest of all filmmakers conceived of, developed, and finally brought this unique film to fruition. At the heart of this remarkable book are scores of archival material, including pages from Kubrick's notebooks as well as highly imaginative conceptual drawings by Chris Baker -- some of which is available here for the first time ever! Hardcover, 159 pp. $75.00.
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