national archives cataloguing of DVD

From: flick harrison (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Aug 19 2008 - 10:56:26 PDT

Hey there frameworkers;

I've sent my short film / interactive DVD Marie Tyrell into the
national archives of canada. They've categorized it as a prison
film, which I think is a bad way to list it (I don't think that's the
target audience, if you know what I mean) and wonder if anyone has
experience / thoughts on this question? Is it worth worrying about,
is it something that matters much?

Here's the entry:

Here's what the cataloguing officer wrote when I questioned the
"prison films" category:

> The subject heading 'Prison films' is used for individual films
> that depict prison life in any way. From a quick look at your
> website it seems that your film is based on the short story which
> depicts the story of someone on death row? If this is the case,
> the subject heading applied does seem appropriate. Subject
> headings are applied to cataloguing records based on a controlled
> list of vocabulary -- this controlled vocabulary is used by
> libraries worldwide to group and retrieve similar materials.
> Please let me know if you would like us to look again at the
> subject headings applied to your work.

And here's what I was going to write back to her:

> I suppose prison films is a suitable category in one sense, but the
> work is actually an interactive DVD whose main focus is on a
> political breakdown / analysis of the filmmaking process itself
> through hyper-video documentaries. The short film is a fictional
> story of an activist on death row, and although she is a prisoner,
> that forms only part of the narrative - she is also a psych
> patient, teenage diarist, lover, organizer, and protester. The
> documentary tesseracts (hyper-video clips that emerge when buttons
> on the fictional video get clicked) are non-fiction.
> It is, in my opinion, a literary, documentary, experimental,
> activist, political science work, with prison / incarceration as
> one element, but even that is in the context of criminalization of
> dissent - not crime or prison per se.
> I suppose you always have decisions to make when experimental /
> crossover work comes you way.

They sent me a request for the DVD some time ago, and I was feeling
all honoured to be requested by the national archives... until I read
the literature and found out it was required by law to submit 2
copies of all videos published in Canada! Har har.

Any thoughts are appreciated.



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