I want to belatedly (since they arrived while I was away on vacation)
thank Pip Chodorov for his additional comments of August 30 on the draft
Library of Congress guide to moving image genre and form terminology.
I appreciate his translation of the taxonomy used by the Agence du
Court-Metrage in Paris. The terms and organization provided there are, I
think, fairly typical of the strengths and weaknesses of the previous,
rather abbreviated attempts by other archives toward what we have tried to
achieve, a comprehensive list and definition of all genres.
My primary concern regarding Pip's comments proposing broader categories
of fiction, documentary, and experimental, would be the apparent resultant
shift of "genre" to become a term encompassing only fiction and not
nonfiction formulas. This could have the unintended effect of tending to
marginalize nonfiction types.
I will provide Pip's materials to our Library editorial committee on the
LC moving image genre-form guide, however, and in particular we will
consider his ideas on treating Experimental as a form category. Since
Experimental may cover many different types of subject matter, and is
often intended for distribution outside of mainstream commercial channels,
in a sense arguably does fit our definition of form, as opposed to genre.
Again, I want to express my appreciation to Pip for his very thoughtful
comments, and apologize for the lateness of my reply.
Motion Picture/Broadcasting/Recorded Sound Division
Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 20540
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