NEWS: BFI and Bloomsbury Relaunch BFI Film Classics Series

Almost thirty years after it was started, it has been announced that the BFI Film Classics Series is being relaunched with new titles.

This news will also mean that there is a change of focus in the series, with women, LGBTIQ+, Black, Asian, mixed ethnicity and the Global South to be foregrounded in films selected for the series and authors commissioned to write about them.

The BFI and its publishing partner Bloomsbury will officially relaunch the series on the 28th May releasing twenty titles. This is set to include abette’s Feast by philosopher Julian Baggini and Touch of Evil by poet and art critic Richard Deming, as well as reissued favourites including: A.L. Kennedy on The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Camille Paglia on Hitchcock’s The Birds, and Ed Guerrero on Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.

Meanwhile, the reissues  include new forewords by their authors highlighting films’ contemporary relevance to issues such as #MeToo, Brexit, the rise of Trump and police victimisation of young African Americans. In addition, in a major cover refresh, each book features specially commissioned cover artwork by leading illustrators, designers and photographers.

The new titles in the series set to be released in the Autumn , include film critic and scholar Rebecca Harrison on The Empire Strikes Back, feminist scholar and advocate Patricia White writing on Hitchcock’s Rebecca and writer and activist So Mayer on Sally Potter’s Orlando.

Originally founded in 1992, the BFI Film Classics series originally came out of an initiative of the National Film and Television Archive (NFTVA), now known as the BFI National Archive, to build a collection of 360 key films in the history of cinema. Authors published in the book series include Salman Rushdie, Manohla Dargis, Amy Taubin, Simon Callow, Marina Warner, Greil Marcus and Mark Kermode.

Talking about the news, Jenny Ridout, Global Head of Academic Publishing at Bloomsbury, commented: “The BFI Film Classics series enables readers to discover landmarks of world cinema and gain new perspectives on much-loved favourites. We are delighted to be re-presenting the series and to have this opportunity to challenge and broaden the film canon to better represent the diversity of film history and culture. With our shared commitment to developing film literacy and promoting greater diversity in our publishing, we are thrilled to be working with our colleagues at the BFI on this project.”

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