BFI Classics: Far From Heaven

Author: John Gill

Far From Heaven got a good critical response when it was released and was even up for awards – but it’s largely a film not widely seen by the general public.  The advantage of this for this book series is that the author is free to unravel details about the film’s background – whereas a film like The Godfather which has had many books and documentaries made in its honour is harder to shed any new light on as it’s widely studied and adored.

Far From Heaven tackles issues of sexuality, race and class in the mid 50s, often letting one issue complicate another. Gill studies the films very telling visual style (both framing and hyper-real colouring doing much of the work in certain cases).

The edition has carefully selected frames with which to support the author’s arguments – and it does the film justice with some very alluring images. The editing team have clearly understood both text and the ability to widen a film’s audience. But then the BFI does love film, especially good world cinema that doesn’t have many others to fight for it.

Steven Hurst

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