Screen Studies - BFI Film Classics Collection

BFI Film Classics

The BFI is a cultural charity, and the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image.

BFI Film Classics logo

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:

  • The Red Shoes: Pamela Hutchinson’s study of the film examines its breath taking use of Technicolor, music, choreography, editing and art direction at the zenith of Powell and Pressburger’s capacity for ‘composed cinema’.
  • Citizen Kane: Laura Mulvey, in a fresh and original reading, illuminates the richness of the film, both thematically and stylistically, relating it to Welles’s political background and its historical context.
  • Do the Right Thing: This text discusses how the film epitomises Spike Lee's powerful impact on the representation of race and difference in America, the progress of black film-making and the rise of multicultural voices in the media, and how it confronts institutional discrimination head on.
  • Lost in Translation: In this close look at the multi-award-winning film, Suzanne Ferriss mirrors Lost in Translation’s structuring, her analysis taking the form of a trip, exploring Coppola’s allusions to fine art, subtle colour palette, use of music over words, and the characters’ experiences together and alone.
  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles: Fowler draws on original footage, scripts, unmade and unseen projects, interviews and other documents to painstakingly piece together the making of the film, discovering an alternative origin story which centres upon female alliances, forged through a combination of shared film culture and lived sexism.
  • Spirited Away: Andrew Osmond’s insightful study describes how Miyazaki directed Spirited Away with a degree of creative control undreamt of in most popular cinema, using the film’s delightful, freewheeling visual ideas to explore issues ranging from personal agency and responsibility to what Miyazaki sees as the lamentable state of modern Japan.

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 BFI is a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK‘s lead organisation for film and the moving image. The BFI believes society needs stories. Film, television and the moving image bring them to life, helping us to connect and understand each other better. The BFI shares the stories of yesterday, searches for the stories of today, and shapes the stories of tomorrow.

Find out more at

About BFI Publishing

The BFI’s publishing imprint 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.