Observational Cinema

Anthropology, Film, and the Exploration of Social Life

Author: Anna Grimshaw,Amanda Ravetz

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253221587

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 198

View: 6675

Once hailed as a radical breakthrough in documentary and ethnographic filmmaking, observational cinema has been criticized for a supposedly detached camera that objectifies and dehumanizes the subjects of its gaze. Anna Grimshaw and Amanda Ravetz provide the first critical history and in-depth appraisal of this movement, examining key works, filmmakers, and theorists, from André Bazin and the Italian neorealists, to American documentary films of the 1960s, to extended discussions of the ethnographic films of Herb Di Gioia, David Hancock, and David MacDougall. They make a new case for the importance of observational work in an emerging experimental anthropology, arguing that this medium exemplifies a non-textual anthropology that is both analytically rigorous and epistemologically challenging.

Observational Cinema

Anthropology, Film, and the Exploration of Social Life

Author: Anna Grimshaw,Amanda Ravetz

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780253354242

Category: Social Science

Page: 198

View: 2612

Once hailed as a radical breakthrough in documentary and ethnographic filmmaking, observational cinema has been criticized for a supposedly detached camera that objectifies and dehumanizes the subjects of its gaze. Anna Grimshaw and Amanda Ravetz provide the first critical history and in-depth appraisal of this movement, examining key works, filmmakers, and theorists, from Andr� Bazin and the Italian neorealists, to American documentary films of the 1960s, to extended discussions of the ethnographic films of Herb Di Gioia, David Hancock, and David MacDougall. They make a new case for the importance of observational work in an emerging experimental anthropology, arguing that this medium exemplifies a non-textual anthropology that is both analytically rigorous and epistemologically challenging.

Transcultural Cinema

Author: David MacDougall

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691012346

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 318

View: 8161

David MacDougall is a pivotal figure in the development of ethnographic cinema and visual anthropology. As a filmmaker, he has directed in Africa, Australia, India, and Europe. His prize-winning films (many made jointly with his wife, Judith MacDougall) include The Wedding Camels, Lorang's Way, To Live with Herds, A Wife among Wives, Takeover, Photo Wallahs, and Tempus de Baristas. As a theorist, he articulates central issues in the relation of film to anthropology, and is one of the few documentary filmmakers who writes extensively on these concerns. The essays collected here address, for instance, the difference between films and written texts and between the position of the filmmaker and that of the anthropological writer. In fact, these works provide an overview of the history of visual anthropology, as well as commentaries on specific subjects, such as point-of-view and subjectivity, reflexivity, the use of subtitles, and the role of the cinema subject. Refreshingly free of jargon, each piece belongs very much to the tradition of the essay in its personal engagement with exploring difficult issues. The author ultimately disputes the view that ethnographic filmmaking is merely a visual form of anthropology, maintaining instead that it is a radical anthropological practice, which challenges many of the basic assumptions of the discipline of anthropology itself. Although influential among filmmakers and critics, some of these essays were published in small journals and have been until now difficult to find. The three longest pieces, including the title essay, are new.

Experimental Ethnography

The Work of Film in the Age of Video

Author: Catherine Russell

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822323198

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 391

View: 1936

Experimental film and ethnographic film have long been considered separate, autonomous practices on the margins of mainstream cinema. By exploring the interplay between the two forms, Catherine Russell throws new light on both the avant-garde and visual anthropology. Russell provides detailed analyses of more than thirty-five films and videos from the 1890s to the 1990s and discusses a wide range of film and videomakers, including Georges M Elis, Maya Deren, Peter Kubelka, Ray Birdwhistell, Jean Rouch, Su Friedrich, Bill Viola, Kidlat Tahimik, Margaret Mead, Tracey Moffatt, and Chantal Akerman. Combining cultural critique with aesthetic analysis, she explores the dynamics of historical interruption, recovery, and re-evaluation. As disciplinary boundaries dissolve, Russell contends, ethnography is a means of renewing the avant-gardism of "experimental" film, of mobilising its play with language and form for historical ends. "Ethnography" likewise becomes an expansive term in which culture is represented from many different fragmented perspectives.Experimental Ethnography will appeal to visual anthropologists, as well as film scholars interested in experimental and documentary practices.

Ethnographic Film

Revised Edition

Author: Karl G. Heider

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292779399

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 180

View: 756

Even before Robert Flaherty released Nanook of the North in 1922, anthropologists were producing films about the lifeways of native peoples for a public audience, as well as for research and teaching. Ethnographic Film (1976) was one of the first books to provide a comprehensive introduction to this field of visual anthropology, and it quickly became the standard reference. In this new edition, Karl G. Heider thoroughly updates Ethnographic Film to reflect developments in the field over the three decades since its publication, focusing on the work of four seminal filmmakers—Jean Rouch, John Marshall, Robert Gardner, and Timothy Asch. He begins with an introduction to ethnographic film and a history of the medium. He then considers many attributes of ethnographic film, including the crucial need to present "whole acts," "whole bodies," "whole interactions," and "whole people" to preserve the integrity of the cultural context. Heider also discusses numerous aspects of making ethnographic films, from ethics and finances to technical considerations such as film versus video and preserving the filmed record. He concludes with a look at using ethnographic film in teaching.

Film As Ethnography

Author: Peter Ian Crawford,David Turton,Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology

Publisher: Manchester University Press

ISBN: 9780719036835

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 322

View: 4891

This work examines the reasons why anthropologists have not used the camera as a research instrument or film as a means of communicating ethnographic knowledge. It suggests that images and words in this discipline operate on different logical levels; that they are hierarchically related; that whereas writings may encompass the images produced by film, the inverse of this cannot be true. The author argues for this position further by suggesting that the visual is to the written mode as "thin description" (giving a record of the form of behaviour) is to "thick description" (giving an account of meaning).

Ciné Ethnography

Author: Jean Rouch

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 9781452906102

Category:

Page: 400

View: 8771

One of the most influential figures in documentary and ethnographic filmmaking, Jean Rouch has made more than one hundred films 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, religious ritual, and music. He pioneered numerous film techniques and technologies, and in the process inspired generations of filmmakers, from New Wave directors, who emulated his cinema verite style, to today's documentarians. Cine-Ethnography is a long-overdue English-language resource that collects Rouch's key writings, interviews, and other materials that distill his thinking on filmmaking, ethnography, and his own career. Editor Steven Feld opens with a concise overview of Rouch's career, highlighting the themes found throughout his work. In the four essays that follow, Rouch discusses the ethnographic film as a genre, the history of African cinema, his experiences of filmmaking among the Songhay, and the intertwined histories of French colonialism, anthropology, and cinema. And in four interviews, Rouch thoughtfully reflects on each of his films, as well as his artistic, intellectual, and political concerns. Cine-Ethnography also contains an annotated transcript of Chronicle of a Summer--one of Rouch's most important works--along with commentary by the filmmakers, and concludes with a complete, annotated filmography and a bibliography. The most thorough resource on Rouch available in any language, Cine-Ethnography makes clear this remarkable and still vital filmmaker's major role in the history of documentary cinema.

Innovation in Ethnographic Film

From Innocence to Self-Consciousness, 1955-1985

Author: Peter Loizos

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226492261

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 224

View: 1356

In the first coprehensive introduction to the nature and development of ethnographic film, Peter Loizos reviews fifty of the most important films made between 1955 and 1985. Going beyond programmatic statements, he analyzes the films themselves, identifying and discussing their contributions to ethnographic documentation. Loizos begins by reviewing works of John Marshall and Timothy Asch in the 1950s and moves through those of Jean Rouch, Robert Gardner, and many more recent filmmakers. He reveals a steady course of innovations along four dimensions: production technology, subject matter, strategies of argument, and ethnographic authentication. His analyses of individual films address questions of realism, authenticity, genre, authorial and subjective voice, and representation of the films' creators as well as their subjects. Innovation in Ethnographic Film, as a systematic and iluminating review of developments in ethnographic film, will be an important resource for the growing number of anthropologists and other scholars who use such films as tools for research and teaching.

Semiotics and Documentary Film

The Living Sign in the Cinema

Author: Hing Tsang

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 1614514119

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 210

View: 5209

Semiotics and Documentary Film: The Living Sign in the Cinema engages with very vital problems posed by Peirce's philosophy in an innovative and inter-disciplinary fashion by examining how documentary film practice can engage with the question of emergent human agency within a wider biosphere shared by human animals and non-human animals alike. The book is in many ways a celebration of human inquiry, taking liberally from Peirce's semeiotic and parallel ideas within recent visual anthropology. Through an analysis of the work of three renowned filmmakers - Jon Jost, Johan Van der Keuken, and Rithy Panh - Semiotics and Documentary Film: The Living Sign in the Cinema reasserts human agency within a global age, dominated by philosophical scepticism and an unquestioning subservience to mechanistic military techno-culture. The author argues that an approach to documentary inquiry, broadly derived from Peirce's sign theory, phenomenology, and overall philosophical outlook, has strong advantages over atemporal formal approaches derived from Saussurean semiology. Nevertheless, this project is also both critical and self-critical. It also bears direct testament to the many tumultuous and life-destroying events of the late 20th century and reminds us of the moral and philosophical problems which we are still grappling with in the early 21st century. Hence - the Living Sign.

The Ethnographer's Eye

Ways of Seeing in Anthropology

Author: Anna Grimshaw

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521774758

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 222

View: 5339

Grimshaw sets a new agenda for visual anthropology, attempting to transcend the old division between image and text-based ethnography. She argues for the use of vision as a critical tool with which anthropologists can address issues of knowledge and technique. The first part of the book critically examines anthropology's history, focusing on the work of key individuals--Rivers, Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown--in the context of early modern art and cinema. In the book's second part, Grimshaw considers the anthropological films of Jean Rouch, David and Judith MacDougall and Melissa Llewelyn-Davies.

The SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology

Author: Richard Fardon,Oliva Harris,Trevor H J Marchand,Cris Shore,Veronica Strang,Richard Wilson,Mark Nuttall

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 144626601X

Category: Social Science

Page: 1184

View: 5846

In two volumes, the SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology provides the definitive overview of contemporary research in the discipline. It explains the what, where, and how of current and anticipated work in Social Anthropology. With 80 authors, contributing more than 60 chapters, this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date statement of research in Social Anthropology available and the essential point of departure for future projects. The Handbook is divided into four sections: -Part I: Interfaces examines Social Anthropology's disciplinary connections, from Art and Literature to Politics and Economics, from Linguistics to Biomedicine, from History to Media Studies. -Part II: Places examines place, region, culture, and history, from regional, area studies to a globalized world -Part III: Methods examines issues of method; from archives to war zones, from development projects to art objects, and from ethics to comparison -Part IV: Futures anticipates anthropologies to come: in the Brain Sciences; in post-Development; in the Body and Health; and in new Technologies and Materialities Edited by the leading figures in social anthropology, the Handbook includes a substantive introduction by Richard Fardon, a think piece by Jean and John Comaroff, and a concluding last word on futures by Marilyn Strathern. The authors - each at the leading edge of the discipline - contribute in-depth chapters on both the foundational ideas and the latest research. Comprehensive and detailed, this magisterial Handbook overviews the last 25 years of the social anthropological imagination. It will speak to scholars in Social Anthropology and its many related disciplines.

Transcultural Montage

Author: Christian Suhr,Rane Willerslev

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857459651

Category: Social Science

Page: 300

View: 1333

The disruptive power of montage has often been regarded as a threat to scholarly representations of the social world. This volume asserts the opposite: that the destabilization of commonsense perception is the very precondition for transcending social and cultural categories. The contributors-anthropologists, filmmakers, photographers, and curators-explore the use of montage as a heuristic tool for comparative analysis in anthropological writing, film, and exhibition making. Exploring phenomena such as human perception, memory, visuality, ritual, time, and globalization, they apply montage to restructure our basic understanding of social reality. Furthermore, as George E. Marcus suggests in the afterword, the power of montage that this volume exposes lies in its ability to open the very "combustion chamber" of social theory by juxtaposing one's claims to knowledge with the path undertaken to arrive at those claims.

Transcultural Montage

Author: Christian Suhr,Rane Willerslev

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857459651

Category: Social Science

Page: 300

View: 1188

The disruptive power of montage has often been regarded as a threat to scholarly representations of the social world. This volume asserts the opposite: that the destabilization of commonsense perception is the very precondition for transcending social and cultural categories. The contributors-anthropologists, filmmakers, photographers, and curators-explore the use of montage as a heuristic tool for comparative analysis in anthropological writing, film, and exhibition making. Exploring phenomena such as human perception, memory, visuality, ritual, time, and globalization, they apply montage to restructure our basic understanding of social reality. Furthermore, as George E. Marcus suggests in the afterword, the power of montage that this volume exposes lies in its ability to open the very "combustion chamber" of social theory by juxtaposing one's claims to knowledge with the path undertaken to arrive at those claims.

Visualization in the Age of Computerization

Author: Annamaria Carusi,Aud Sissel Hoel,Timothy Webmoor,Steve Woolgar

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135077363

Category: Social Science

Page: 292

View: 3827

Digitalization and computerization are now pervasive in science. This has deep consequences for our understanding of scientific knowledge and of the scientific process, and challenges longstanding assumptions and traditional frameworks of thinking of scientific knowledge. Digital media and computational processes challenge our conception of the way in which perception and cognition work in science, of the objectivity of science, and the nature of scientific objects. They bring about new relationships between science, art and other visual media, and new ways of practicing science and organizing scientific work, especially as new visual media are being adopted by science studies scholars in their own practice. This volume reflects on how scientists use images in the computerization age, and how digital technologies are affecting the study of science.

Collaboration Through Craft

Author: Amanda Ravetz,Alice Kettle,Helen Felcey

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1350007129

Category: Crafts & Hobbies

Page: 280

View: 2882

Offering a challenging new argument for the collaborative power of craft, this ground-breaking volume analyses the philosophies, politics and practicalities of collaborative craft work. The book is accessibly organised into four sections covering the cooperation and compromises required by the collaborative process; the potential of recent technological advances for the field of craft; the implications of cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations for authority and ownership; and the impact of crafted collaborations on the institutions where we work, learn and teach. With cutting-edge essays by established makers and artists such as Allison Smith (US) and Brass Art (UK), curator Lesley Millar, textile designer Trish Belford and distinguished thinker Glenn Adamson, Collaborating Through Craft will be essential reading for students, artists, makers, curators and scholars across a number of fields.

American Ethnographic Film and Personal Documentary

The Cambridge Turn

Author: Scott MacDonald

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520954939

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 424

View: 8524

American Ethnographic Film and Personal Documentary is a critical history of American filmmakers crucial to the development of ethnographic film and personal documentary. The Boston and Cambridge area is notable for nurturing these approaches to documentary film via institutions such as the MIT Film Section and the Film Study Center, the Carpenter Center and the Visual and Environmental Studies Department at Harvard. Scott MacDonald uses pragmatism’s focus on empirical experience as a basis for measuring the groundbreaking achievements of such influential filmmakers as John Marshall, Robert Gardner, Timothy Asch, Ed Pincus, Miriam Weinstein, Alfred Guzzetti, Ross McElwee, Robb Moss, Nina Davenport, Steve Ascher and Jeanne Jordan, Michel Negroponte, John Gianvito, Alexander Olch, Amie Siegel, Ilisa Barbash, and Lucien Castaing-Taylor. By exploring the cinematic, personal, and professional relationships between these accomplished filmmakers, MacDonald shows how a pioneering, engaged, and uniquely cosmopolitan approach to documentary developed over the past half century.

The Life Informatic

Newsmaking in the Digital Era

Author: Dominic Boyer

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801467349

Category: Social Science

Page: 248

View: 1753

News journalism is in the midst of radical transformation brought about by the spread of digital information and communication technology and the rise of neoliberalism. What does it look like, however, from the inside of a news organization? In The Life Informatic, Dominic Boyer offers the first anthropological ethnography of contemporary office-based news journalism. The result is a fascinating account of journalists struggling to maintain their expertise and authority, even as they find their principles and skills profoundly challenged by ever more complex and fast-moving streams of information. Boyer conducted his fieldwork inside three news organizations in Germany (a world leader in digital journalism) supplemented by extensive interviews in the United States. His findings challenge popular and scholarly images of journalists as roving truth-seekers, showing instead the extent to which sedentary office-based "screenwork" (such as gathering and processing information online) has come to dominate news journalism. To explain this phenomenon Boyer puts forth the notion of "digital liberalism"-a powerful convergence of technological and ideological forces over the past two decades that has rebalanced electronic mediation from the radial (or broadcast) tendencies of the mid-twentieth century to the lateral (or peer-to-peer) tendencies that dominate in the era of the Internet and social media. Under digital liberalism an entire regime of media, knowledge, and authority has become integrated around liberal principles of individuality and publicity, both unmaking and remaking news institutions of the broadcast era. Finally, Boyer offers some scenarios for how news journalism will develop in the future and discusses how other intellectual professionals, such as ethnographers, have also become more screenworkers than fieldworkers.

Visualizing Anthropology

Author: Anna Grimshaw,Amanda Ravetz

Publisher: Intellect Books

ISBN: 1841501123

Category: Social Science

Page: 167

View: 971

Questions of vision and knowledge are central to debates about the world in which we live. Developing new analytical approaches toward ways of seeing is a key challenge facing those working across a wide range of disciplines. How can visuality be understood on its own terms rather than by means of established textual frameworks? Visualizing Anthropology takes up this challenge. Bringing together a range of perspectives anchored in practice, the book maps experiments in the forms and techniques of visual enquiry. The origins of this collection lie in visual anthropology. Although the field has greatly expanded and diversified, many of the key debates continue to be focused around the textual concerns of the mainstream discipline. In seeking to establish a more genuinely visual anthropology, the editors have sought to forge links with other kinds of image-based projects. Ethnography is the shared space of practice. Understood not as a specialized method but as cultural critique, the book explores new collaborative possibilities linked to image-based work.