The Moving Image Genre-Form Guide

English Abstract: 

"While developing terminology for application to the moving image holdings of archives and libraries, the Moving Image Genre-Form Guide follows the traditional methods of film and television scholarship as closely as possible. The vast and steadily growing literature of genre studies has been relied upon: hundreds of books and many more articles authored on genre theory, as well as analyzing specific genres. In addition, the many genre and content lists that archives have developed over the years were examined, along with such other indexing tools as the retrospective indices to the writing on film, the terms in each volume in the American Film Institute Catalog series, and commercial guides to videos. Nonetheless, with the broad range of types of moving image works, there is no single, ready resource to appropriate for a guide to such terms in their archival application. Utilizing this range of previous work, a committee within the Motion Picture/Broadcasting/Recorded Sound Division has compiled a comprehensive, practical guide to moving image genre and form terminology ever created, covering some 150 terms, all fully defined and exemplified. However, in addition to fulfilling the needs of archivists and librarians, a guide to genre-form terms must also satisfy such other interested groups as moving image scholars and filmmakers. In order to be widely comprehensible to researchers, a guide should offer terms and definitions conforming to general classification practice. Since searches of online databases will be increasingly conducted over the internet, instead of with the assistance of reference librarians, the Moving Image Genre-Form Guide aims to promote the likelihood of outside researchers finding the desired bibliographic records through use of the basic terms in the field. With each term, we have provided a definition, describing conventions of story construction, character types, and setting, and, as necessary, additional definitional notes that indicate related or overlapping genres, and other considerations when applying the term. For nearly every genre and form, a variety of examples from different periods and nations are given. The examples are meant to be both typical of the genre as well as to indicate its breath, themes, and significant sub-types. The very comprehensiveness that is the hallmark of the Moving Image Genre-Form Guide will give it additional value beyond those involved in cataloging and inventorying moving image works. The issues encountered in developing such a guide encompass many of the same problems that academia tackles in classes and research. Just as the Moving Image Genre- Form Guide has followed the literature of genre studies, this guide may also be able to make a contribution to such scholarship. Since the archival perspective frequently extends beyond some of the more abstract, theoretical discourse and the possibilities traditionally recognized for critical generic analysis, scholars may benefit from a project that necessarily applies to all forms and periods, with a greater emphasis on marginal genres. The Moving Image Genre-Form Guide may be of value in pinpointing categories that are worthy of further study but have been previously neglected or overlooked, as genres that have not received critical recognition become evident in the cataloging of archival holdings. There are entire undertheorized areas that must be incorporated, such as genres specific to television, from Home shopping to Public access. To facilitate recognition from researchers, we have included categories for some little-known genres that represent significant, unavoidable generic groups of archival holdings. Thus the Moving Image Genre-Form Guide can achieve a positive and exciting exchange between the academic and archival communities, in addition to its practical value as an indexing tool to scholars searching the archives."

English Title: 
The Moving Image Genre-Form Guide
Author: 
Brian Taves
Judi Hoffman
Karen Lund
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Address: 
Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20540, United States