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31 Jul 2012
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£12.99
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9781844575145
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DescriptionContentsAuthors Cover Designer

Sixty years after its release, Singin' in the Rain (1951) remains one of the best
loved films ever made. Yet despite dazzling success with the public, it never
received its fair share of critical analysis. Gene Kelly's genius as a performer is
undeniable. Acknowledged less often is his innovatory contribution as director.
Peter Wollen's illuminating study of Singin' in the Rain does justice to this
complex film. In a brilliant shot-by-shot analysis of the famous title number,
he shows how skilfully Kelly weaves the dance and musical elements into the
narrative, successfully combining two distinctive traditions within American
Dance: tap and ballet.
At the time of the film's production, its scriptwriters Betty Comden and Adolph
Green, and indeed Kelly himself, were all under threat from McCarthyism.
Wollen describes how the fallout from blacklisting curtailed the careers of
many of those who worked on the film and argues convincingly that the film
represents the high point in their careers.
In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th
anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Geoff Andrew looks at the film's
legacy and celebrates the passion, lucidity and originality of Wollen's analysis.
Summing up its enduring appeal, Andrew writes: 'Singin' in the Rain isn't just a
musical, it's a movie about the movies.'


Description

Sixty years after its release, Singin' in the Rain (1951) remains one of the best
loved films ever made. Yet despite dazzling success with the public, it never
received its fair share of critical analysis. Gene Kelly's genius as a performer is
undeniable. Acknowledged less often is his innovatory contribution as director.
Peter Wollen's illuminating study of Singin' in the Rain does justice to this
complex film. In a brilliant shot-by-shot analysis of the famous title number,
he shows how skilfully Kelly weaves the dance and musical elements into the
narrative, successfully combining two distinctive traditions within American
Dance: tap and ballet.
At the time of the film's production, its scriptwriters Betty Comden and Adolph
Green, and indeed Kelly himself, were all under threat from McCarthyism.
Wollen describes how the fallout from blacklisting curtailed the careers of
many of those who worked on the film and argues convincingly that the film
represents the high point in their careers.
In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th
anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Geoff Andrew looks at the film's
legacy and celebrates the passion, lucidity and originality of Wollen's analysis.
Summing up its enduring appeal, Andrew writes: 'Singin' in the Rain isn't just a
musical, it's a movie about the movies.'


Contents

Foreword Geoff Andrew
'Singin' in the Rain'
Notes
Credits
Bibliography


Authors

PETER WOLLEN taught film at UCLA. He is the author of several books,
including Signs and Meaning in the Cinema, first published in 1969 and reprinted
in a new edition in 2012, and the co-writer (with Mark Peploe) of Michelangelo
Antonioni's The Passenger (Professione: Reporter) (1974).

GEOFF ANDREW is Head of Film Programme at BFI Southbank, and was
previously Film Editor of Time Out London. He is the author of two volumes in
the BFI Modern Classics series, The 'Three Colours' Trilogy (1998) and 10 (2005),
and of The Films of Nicholas Ray: The Poet of Nightfall (2004).


Cover Designer

Louise Weir

www.louiseweir.com

 

Your background

 

I grew up in the only pub in a tiny village near Warrington, surrounded by ecccentric and interesting locals, who loved chewing the fat and storytelling. This has given me a lifelong fascination with character and narrative that continually fuels and informs my work. I left to study Illustration at Hull College of Art, which was basically three years of doing what you wanted artistically speaking and then moved to London to complete an MA in Illustration at Central St Martins.

I have I have been working full time within the Illustration industry in the UK and Worldwide for the last twenty years, with a wide range of experience across Design, Advertising, Publishing and Editorial. My work has been regularly discussed in many anthologies of Illustration, including The Best of UK, and European Illustration and this year I have won a Bronze award for The Best of UK Illustration in the Self Promotion section, a notoriously tough one to crack. I also regularly exhibit my work in the UK and Europe.

 

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of Singin' in the Rain? 

 

To embrace the ‘Hollywood Feel’ of the time when the film was shot, and the positive feel of the film. I wanted to convey the glamour, bright lights, singing, dancing and ‘feel good’ quality. Also I wanted the title and author's name to become part of Broadway, so Gene is dancing through lights that spell out the title and author's name.

 

What is your earliest film memory?

The Wizard of Oz, The opening scene when Dorothy arrives and meets the good witch, which is still one of my favourite films. I notice something new every time I watch it.

 

What inspires you?

Reading, I'm trying to read all the books I should have read already. Music, I am a devoted listener to radio especially 6 music as it plays all the different sorts of music I love. Interesting places and characters, I keep a photographic and sketchbook diary to draw them when I'm out. Travel, I get away in my camper van whenever possible.

 

What are you working on now?

What I am working on a series of portraits at the moment for Wardour publishing and have just won a Best of British Illustration Bronze award.