Watching a movie on a Friday night is a great idea, but the 407 feature films owned by the University Library are more often watched for educational purposes than for entertainment.
Like the Library’s documentaries and educational videos, the public performance rights are purchased for each feature film. This is a complex and sometimes expensive process, but the licence is required in order to screen the film in a classroom or group setting.
In order to preserve the film’s original theatrical exhibition, the Library purchases feature films in their original language and in widescreen format whenever possible. Award winners and director’s cuts are preferred along with editions that include extensive liner notes highlighting feature information such as cast and filmmaker interviews, discussions on technical aspects of the film and filmographies.
Feature films support research and coursework in a variety of subject areas:
New media researchers study them for their cinematography value, animation techniques and for illustrations of production and post-production technology.
Drama students learn narrative and acting methods as well as lighting and staging techniques.
Music students learn opera production techniques.
Researchers in the social sciences can study them for their historical or social context.
Modern language students can practise their language skills by viewing foreign language films.
Feature films are listed in the Library Catalogue under the general subject headings of DVDs or feature films. A search by specific subject, theme or genre (eg. gangster films, silent films or foreign films) will find feature films as well as books on film criticism or film structure.
A line in the feature film BRAZIL says: “There are those who maintain that the Ministry of Information has become too large and unwieldy. But in a free society, information is the name of the game.” And in this game, feature films inform as well as entertain!
For additional information, please contact your subject liaison librarian or ask at the Information & Research Assistance Desk. This column is a monthly feature by Librarian Judy Vogt. Please e-mail your story suggestions to Vogt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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