BFI Film Classics

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The BFI Film Classics Collection is available to purchase via yearly subscription, or perpetual access.

BFI Film Classics comprises titles from the award-winning BFI Film Classics book series which introduces, interprets and celebrates landmarks of world cinema from the silent era to the 21st century. Each title offers a sophisticated but accessible argument for the film's 'classic' status, together with discussion of its production and reception history, its place within a genre or national cinema, an account of its technical and aesthetic importance, and in many cases, the author's personal response to the film.

Discover a selection of highlights from this peerless compendium:

  • Metropolis: Thomas Elsaesser’s study explores Fritz Lang’s flawed masterpiece, a film that, like no other, represents urban modernity, Berlin’s ‘Golden Twenties’, and the cinematic city.
  • Classic Hollywood and Classic Hitchcock come under the microscope in Charles Barr’s peerless analysis of Vertigo, Hitchock’s study of romantic obsession, voted as one of the greatest films of all time.
  • Each classic film addressed in the series holds a unique place in the timeline of cinema history, referring back to movies that came before it, and making its own impact on those that come after. Chris Marker’s avant-garde classic La Jetée both refers back to films such as Vertigo that similarly deal with themes of haunting and memory, and has influenced other narratives of time-travel including Terry Gilliam’s ‘Hollywood’ remake Twelve Monkeys. Chris Darke’s study of the film explores its place within Marker’s oeuvre and the reasons for its enduring fascination.
  • “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe,” says Roy Batty in his dying monologue in Ridley Scott’s dystopian fantasy Blade Runner. Scott Bukatman’s study of the film conceives it as one in which “seeing is everything, but it guarantees absolutely nothing.”
  • Pan’s Labyrinth: In the introduction to her study of the acclaimed cult feature El laberinto del fauno, Mar Diestro-Dòpido explores the film within the context of writer-director Guillermo del Toro’s imaginative universe.

Praise for the Film Classics series

‘A formidable body of work collectively generating some fascinating insights into the evolution of cinema.’ - Times Higher Education Supplement

‘The series is a landmark in film criticism.’ - Quarterly Review of Film and Video

‘Possibly the most bountiful book series in the history of film criticism.’ - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film Comment

About the British Film Institute

The British Film Institute (BFI) is a cultural charity and the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image.
Find out more at www.bfi.org.uk

About BFI Publishing

BFI Publishing is the BFI’s publishing imprint. The BFI Publishing list features an unrivalled range of books for film enthusiasts, scholars, students and practitioners, written by leading scholars and critics of cinema history and culture.

Screen Studies offers digitised, searchable access to an acclaimed body of content from the BFI Publishing list, with two dedicated collections available for separate purchase.