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November 1994, Week 3


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Blaine Allan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Nov 1994 20:45:40 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
On Mon, 14 Nov 1994 22:19:01 CST James Tichenor said:
>So I write today to tell you of a wonderful find. I recieved the
>"MOTION PICTURE GUIDE" CD-ROM this morning and am really pleased.
This post set off a red flag in my memory, and permits me to offer
a second-hand caveat emptor.
What I remembered was a long and detailed review of the original,
12-volume publication -- long and detailed for a review of a
reference resource.  It was published in Film Quarterly 41 (Winter
1987-88), and was written by Dan Greenberg.  In his opening paragraph,
he judges the Guide "almost alughably error-prone, slapdash, ill-
edited, and unreliable...."  To some extent, Greenberg directs his
criticism at the book's self-promotion as comprehensive, thorough,
and complete.  He does then go on to offer criticism on grounds of
both accuracy and approach.  On the latter, for instance, he
suggests the problem in using US releases to date films, including
non-US productions.
Simply because of the huge volume of material, I'm sure there's more
right than wrong in The Motion Picture Guide.  I'd be interested in
knowing whether the material published in the book edition and its
yearbook-updates has been revised for CD-ROM, or if it's all simply
been digitized and reconfigured for electronic reading.
Perhaps James might take it on himself to look up Greenberg's review,
use it as a basis for a little test, and offer a little more critical
review as part of the Consumer Reports corner of SCREEN-L.
Blaine Allan                           [log in to unmask]
Film Studies
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
Canada  K7L 3N6