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BFI Publishing in April and May

BFI Publishing have announced two new titles for April: Hollywood in the New Millennium, a major new study into the contemporary film industry, and the fifth edition of Peter Wollen’s groundbreaking Signs and Meaning in the Cinema as part of the BFI Silver range. Both titles will be published on April 26th, 2013. May sees the arrival of the latest addition to the BFI Film Classics series of monographs with Peter William Evans’ Written on the Wind. It will be published on May 10th, 2013. Full details for all three volumes can be found below…


Hollywood is facing unprecedented challenges – and is changing rapidly and radically as a result. In this major new study of the contemporary film industry, leading film historian Tino Balio explores the impact of the Internet, declining DVD sales and changing consumer spending habits on the way Hollywood conducts its business. Today, the major studios play an insignificant role in the bottom lines of their conglomerate parents and have fled to safety, relying on big-budget tentpoles, franchises and family films to reach their target audiences. Comprehensive, compelling and filled with engaging case studies (TimeWarner, DreamWorks SKG, Spider Man, The Lord of the Rings, IMAX, Netflix, Miramax, Sony Pictures Classics, Lionsgate and Sundance), Hollywood in the New Millennium is a must-read for all students of film studies, cinema studies, media studies, communication studies, and radio and television.

TINO BALIO is Emeritus Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The 2001 recipient of the inaugural Academy Film Scholar Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Balio has written widely on the historical development of Hollywood and the American film industry. He is the author of a two-volume history of United Artists, Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930–1939 (1996), and The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens, 1946–1973 (2010).


First published in 1969, Signs and Meaning in the Cinema transformed the emerging discipline of film studies. Remarkably eclectic and informed, Peter Wollen's highly influential and groundbreaking work remains a brilliant and accessible theorisation of film as an art form and as a sign system.

The book is divided into three main sections. The first explores the work of Sergei Eisenstein as film-maker, designer and aesthetician. The second, which contains a celebrated comparison of the films of John Ford and Howard Hawks, is an exposition and defence of the auteur theory. The third formulates a semiology of the cinema, invoking cinema as an exemplary test-case for comparative aesthetics and general theories of signification. Wollen's Conclusion argues for an avant-garde cinema, bringing post-structuralist ideas into his discussion of Godard and other contemporaries.

Published as part of the BFI Silver series, this fifth edition features a new foreword by film theorist David Rodowick and brings together material from the four previous editions, inviting the reader to trace the development of Wollen's thinking, and the unfolding of the discourse of cinema.

PETER WOLLEN taught film at UCLA. He wrote a number of books, including the BFI Film Classic on Singin' in the Rain, published in 1992 and reprinted in a new edition in 2012. He is the co-writer (with Mark Peploe) of Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger (Professione: Reporter) (1974).


Written on the Wind (1956) is one of classical Hollywood's most striking films and ranks among Douglas Sirk's finest achievements. An intense melodrama about an alcoholic playboy who marries the woman his best friend secretly loves, the film is highly stylised, psychologically complex, and marked by Sirk's characteristic charting of the social realities of 1950s America.

This first single study of Written on the Wind reassesses the film's artistic heritage and place within the wider framework of contemporary American culture. Incorporating original archival research, Peter William Evans examines the production, promotion and reception of Written on the Wind, exploring its themes – of time, memory, space, family, class and sex – as well as its brilliance of form. Its vivid aesthetics, powerful performances and profound treatment of human emotions make Written on the Wind a masterpiece of Hollywood melodrama.

PETER WILLIAM EVANS is Emeritus Professor of Film at Queen Mary, University of London. His publications include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1996), Luis Buñuel: New Readings (co-edited, 2004), and Carol Reed (2005).

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