By Jean Rouch
The most influential figures in documentary and ethnographic filmmaking, Jean Rouch has made multiple hundred motion pictures in West Africa and France. In such acclaimed works as Jaguar, The Lion Hunters, and Cocorico, Monsieur Poulet, Rouch has explored racism, colonialism, African modernity, spiritual ritual, and song. He pioneered various movie strategies and applied sciences, and within the strategy encouraged generations of filmmakers, from New Wave administrators, who emulated his cinema verite type, to today’s documentarians. Cine-Ethnography is a long-overdue English-language source that collects Rouch’s key writings, interviews, and different fabrics that distill his pondering on filmmaking, ethnography, and his personal profession. Editor Steven Feld opens with a concise review of Rouch’s profession, highlighting the subjects chanced on all through his paintings. within the 4 essays that stick with, Rouch discusses the ethnographic movie as a style, the background of African cinema, his stories of filmmaking one of the Songhay,and the intertwined histories of French colonialism, anthropology, and cinema. And in 4 interviews, Rouch thoughtfully displays on every one of his movies, in addition to his inventive, highbrow, and political matters. Cine-Ethnography additionally comprises an annotated transcript of Chronicle of a Summer–one of Rouch’s most vital works–along with observation by way of the filmmakers, and concludes with a whole, annotated filmography and a bibliography. the main thorough source on Rouch on hand in any language, Cine-Ethnography makes transparent this extraordinary and nonetheless very important filmmaker’s significant function within the background of documentary cinema.
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Additional resources for Ciné-Ethnography
Leroi-Gourhan, André. 1948. ” Revue de Geographie Humaine et d’Ethnologie, no. 3. The Situation and Tendencies of the Cinema in Africa The cinema began to take hold in Africa from the first years that followed its invention. In South Africa, for example, as early as 1896, cinema was introduced by a vaudeville magician who had stolen a “theatregraph” from the Alhambra Palace in London. And today, the word “bioscope,” used from the turn of the century by “Warwick bioscope” projectors, is still the usual word for cinema in South Africa.
La Fontaine). And if the ciné-voyeur of his own society will always be able to justify himself by this particular militarism, what reason can we, anthropologists, give when we pin our subjects up against the wall? This question is obviously addressed to all anthropologists, but anthropological writing has never been contested the way anthropological film has. ” Film is the only means I have to show someone else how I see him. For me, after the pleasure of the ciné-trance in shooting and editing, my first public is the other, those whom I’ve filmed.
Undoubtedly, when Flaherty developed those rushes in his cabin, no one realized that he was condemning to death more than 90 percent of film documents that would follow. No one realized that they would have to wait some forty years before someone would follow the still-new example of the old master of 1921. For Dziga Vertov, at the same period of time, it was a question of filming the revolution. It was no longer an issue of staging, or adventures, but of recording little patches of reality. ” I am the ciné-eye, I am the mechanical eye, I am the machine that shows you the world as only a machine can see it.