UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Camera lucida : the moving image as evocative document : film form, film meaning and the grammatology of archival selection Ljunggren, Rhonda L.


This thesis examines the characteristics of moving image documents such as they pertain to the selection of films for archival preservation. It is advanced that both the physical nature of the film record and the nature of the evidence it presents are prime considerations in the development of archival selection criteria. Furthermore it is argued that the structure and content of film are interrelated factors which impact significantly upon the determination of archival value, and the suitability of the film record for permanent preservation. Finally, a major factor affecting selection involves accounting for the impact of film as a reflector and purveyor of popular culture. Given the powerful influence of film in moulding popular ideas, attitudes, and value systems, archival selection criteria must take into account film of all types if there is to be any future prospect of assessing the impact of film on society in a given period. The sources used for this study include the writings of historians and archivists concerning film as historical evidence and the archival selection thereof, as well as traditional film literature. The study proceeds from a consideration of the technical and structural aspects of film to a content-oriented discussion involving the reflective and influential nature of the moving image document. Archival selection is considered in terms of its necessity and justifiability with regard to the nature of the film record, and alternative modes of selection are investigated.

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