Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Featured DVD of the Week

Los Angeles, Calif. : Flicker Alley, LLC ; Paris : Lobster Films, 2008, 1919.
Butler Media

The Flicker Alley Collection release of a newly restored original 1919 version of J'Accuse by Abel Gance.

"J'Accuse is a World War I drama considered to be one of the most technically advanced films of the era and the first major pacifist film."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Welcome SoA Students!

Welcome to the Columbia University Libraries. We are a major research institution which translates into millions of items ranging from books, journals, screenplays, plays, ephemera, databases, newspapers, films, CDs and more.

To make sense of all of this, please sign up for one of the introductory two-hour workshops for researching film and theater resources.

Here is the information.

To register for the Researching Film and Theater Resources & Image Searching, please send RSVP requests to nef4@columbia.edu
These workshops are ONLY for SoA students but seats are limited.

Researching Film and Theater Resources & Image Searching
September 18 (Thursday)
306 Butler Library

Researching Film and Theater Resources & Image Searching
September 26 (Friday)
306 Butler Library

For the Advanced Internet Searching, Photoshop or any of the other general workshops, please go to the following website to complete your registration: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/services/workshops/index.html

Advanced Internet Searching
September 23 (Tuesday)
306 Butler

Advanced Internet Searching
September 30 (Tuesday)
306 Butler

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Featured Resource

Library Essentials is a collection of short video tutorials on how to complete library research. Tutorials focus on searching for books using our online catalog CLIO, how to more effectively complete a keyword search as well as provide an introduction to a number of invaluable services. The FINDING IMAGES segment may be of special interest.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Featured DVD of the Week

No Country for Old Men (2007)
Miramax Films and Paramount Vantage present ; written for the screen and directed by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen ; produced by Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen ; a Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss production.
Butler Media DVD6953

"He Found a Bundle of Money and Now There is Hell to Pay" by A.O. Scott. See Scott's review in the New York Times published November 7, 2007.


Academy Awards, 2008: Best Achievement in Directing; Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Bardem); Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published. Golden Globes, USA, 2008: Golden Globe - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Javier Bardem) ; Best Screenplay - Motion Picture (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Featured Resource

Film Indexes Online -- AFI Catalog
The Film Indexes Online searches across the American Film Institute Catalog and the British Film Institute's Catalog entitled Film Index International.

The AFI Catalog is an exceptional resource and quite possibly my favorite resource for film research. It is an attempt to catalog every film produced in the United States. It currently includes works produced from 1893 - 1972 (they are completing the 1970s). You can search by title, director, cast, crew, character name, song, genre and subject. For each one of these fields, a browse option is provided. The most outstanding features include plot summaries (for major feature films -- these are quite extensive) and a notes summary which includes varying levels of detail regarding the production and filming. Culled from the major industry publications during the production period, the notes provide incredible film histories and a fabulous read.
Example: search Casablanca, Wizard of Oz, The Women and Gone with the Wind.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Locating Film Reviews at Columbia University

Film reviews can be found in a wide range of publications including books, newspapers, popular magazines and the scholarly journal literature. Reviews can vary in length, assessment and style. The work of notable film critics (see picture of Andrew Sarris on the left) past and present can provide a critique as well as an analysis of the film.

You can search for book publications, generally compilations of reviews, in CLIO by entering "motion pictures -- reviews" as your subject search entry.
For reviews published in journals and newspapers, begin by consulting the Film and Television Subject Guide -- Film Review section for recommended sources. Film and Television Literature Index and the International Index to Film Periodicals index the major journals in Film Studies. You can limit your search to film reviews. MRQE is an excellent web resource indexing major nationals, regional and other news sources. Proquest is an excellent resource for the popular journal literature.

For retrospective (generally pre-1970s), check the guide to printed resources --
Motion Pictures, Cinema, and Film.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Set e-link from Google Scholar

If you choose to search for articles using Google Scholar, you can link directly to the full-text, when available, through Columbia University Libraries -- E-Resources using e-link. All you need to do is set the Scholar Preferences for "Columbia University -- e-link @Columbia."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Featured Resource


The subtitle says it all -- "Movie lovers welcome."

This amazing website produced by Focus Features includes links to movie resources, articles, think pieces, and much more.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Locating Films at Columbia University

Films held in the Columbia Libraries are primarily VHS, Laserdisc and DVD formats.

Locate films in CLIO by using the following suggested searches:

Enter the title and select “Title Search”
Use the Quick Limit “Video Recordings”

You can use the author search for director, producer, screenwriter, actors (generally principal actors)
Note: Quick Limit does not apply to this search

Use keyword if you recall only a part of the title or if you want to pair a director and title
Use the Quick Limit "Video Recordings"
Example: kurosawa samurai dvd

Browse film titles:
A useful search for browsing is subject heading search.
You can browse a listing of all of our feature films, documentary films, foreign language films.

Here are a few subject headings :

  • Feature films

  • Foreign films

  • Documentary films

  • Comedy films

  • Historical films

  • Horror films

For foreign language films:
Subject headings include:

  • motion pictures, spanish (or any applicable language)


  • Use the “Pre-Select Limits” option to select a language, e.g., “Spanish”
    Perform a keyword search on the word “films”
    Select the Quick Limit “Video Recordings”

    Perform a keyword search for the word "videorecording"
    Narrow your search by adding additional keywords: "videorecording and

Featured DVD of the Week

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
Written and Directed by Bill Jersey, Sam Pollard and Richard Wormser. 2002
Distributed by PBS Thirteen/WNET New York.
Butler Media DVD6924

In four separate episodes, this documentary provides a comprehensive look at race relations in America between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. It documents the context in which the laws of segregation known as the "Jim Crow" system originated and developed.

See Review:

"The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow." By: Cassanello, Robert.
American Historical Review, 2003, Vol. 108 Issue 2, p623-624.

Print Resources

We still buy print resources related to Film Studies. Take a look at the Motion Pictures, Cinema, Film Guide for a listing of print resources. Please note this guide is in the process of being updated and revised.


Locating Journal and Magazine Articles

An excellent start for locating journal and magazine articles is to use an index or bibliography. Columbia University Libraries subscribe to hundreds of journal indexes that are available online. There are several that concentrate on indexing all of the major publications in the area of film studies.

Link to the Film and Television Guide for a selected list. FIAF and Film and Television Literature Index are the best for completing a comprehensive search of the major journals in film studies. Depending on your topic, you may also search indexes that cover major disciplines such as American history, philosophy, religion, anthropology, etc.

Locating Books in Film Studies at Columbia University

To begin, use CLIO our online catalog. You can search by title, author, subject or keyword. If you know the title or author, this is the most direct method for identifying if we have the book in our collections.

You can search for works on films, genres, history, theory, criticism, directors, producers, and actors.

There are two best methods for searching by topic or subject--keyword and searching by subject heading.

Keyword is a powerful search. Use this to combine multiple topics that you think best describe what you are looking for. Read through "Search Tips" located at the bottom of the CLIO screen for the most effective keyword searches.
Example: cinema attractions
This keyword search will look for the terms cinema and attractions anywhere in the bibliographic record.

Another useful strategy for searching by topic or subject is to use the Library of Congress Subject Headings. This controlled vocabulary needs getting used to but can be very helpful for finding the most works on your topic.

You should know that the recognized subject heading for films is motion pictures. Try entering motion pictures and select subject headings for your search term. Take a look at the long list of entries and subdivisions.

Here are a few examples:
motion pictures -- aesthetics
motion pictures -- africa
motion pictures -- plots, themes
motion pictures -- political aspects
motion pictures -- production and direction

For materials not held at Columbia, you can request books through Interlibrary Loan or BorrowDirect.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Theatre and Dance Subject Guide

If you are just getting started with your research, take a look at the Theatre and Dance Subject Guide for recommendations on selected electronic resources in all aspects of film and television studies.

Film and Television Subject Guide

If you are just getting started with your research, take a look at the Film and Television Subject Guide for recommendations on selected electronic resources in all aspects of film and television studies.