Yes, the edited versions have been bowdlerized (now there's an antique
word). I have it from the president of the company himself--called him
when, like you, I got some FFFF donations and wondered what they were about.
They're of the family-friendly/family values variety--objectionable content
removed to make them viewable by the entire family. How to define what's
"objectionable" is the question, of course, and any attempt to do so would
be considered censorship by some. Or at least messing with the artistic
integrity of the original work. (Though the cynic in me wonders if some of
the titles FFFF chooses are in any way artistic.)
To add or not to add to your collection? Depends on how important having
the unexpurgated version is to you. If it is, then avoid the FFFF edited
versions. But there's the public service angle, which might say that films
of this kind meet the needs of certain patrons and a moderate number of them
in the collection with catalog records clearly stating what they are will do
no harm. Myself, I prefer the real thing, but I ended up adding the donated
FFFF's we got here because I trust my patrons' instincts at least as much as
I trust my own. The package is clearly marked; they can decide if they want
to watch an edited version of whatever it may be. And some of them will
want to. I just can't get too excited about this as a censorship/artistic
integrity issue--if videos like these satisfy some of our more conservative
patrons and remain a very minor part of the collection, they'll be no
problem. But your take on it may be different.
Johnson County Library
Overland Park, KS
From: Maurine Canarsky
Sent: 7/13/00 2:42 PM
Subject: Feature Films for Families
Our library has received a number of donations of videos by Feature
Films for Families. One of them says "This exclusive edited version
distributed by Feature Films for Families". The others don't say that.
Does this mean that FFFF has tinkered with the original works? I
remember reading something about this a while back, but don't know how
the editing/copyright problem turned out.
I would hate to add videos that are not the real thing. The titles I'm
looking at today are: The Story Lady, Lost in the Barrens, Beethoven
Lives Upstairs, and Picture Perfect (Not the Jennifer Aniston).
I would be grateful for any information/advice you might have.
Thanks in advance,
Maurine Canarsky, Media Librarian
Noel Wien Public Library
1215 Cowles St.
Fairbanks, AK 99701