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By Jean Rouch

Essentially the most influential figures in documentary and ethnographic filmmaking, Jean Rouch has made a couple of 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, non secular ritual, and track. He pioneered a variety of movie recommendations 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 assessment of Rouch’s occupation, highlighting the subjects stumbled on all through his paintings. within the 4 essays that stick to, Rouch discusses the ethnographic movie as a style, the heritage 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 each one of his motion pictures, in addition to his inventive, highbrow, and political matters. Cine-Ethnography additionally includes an annotated transcript of Chronicle of a Summer–one of Rouch’s most vital works–along with statement via the filmmakers, and concludes with an entire, 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 position within the background of documentary cinema.

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Making films then meant crews of ten technicians, tons of camera and sound equipment, and responsibility for thousands of dollars. So it was obviously simpler to bring man to the studio and place him in front of the camera than to take the camera out to man. Johnny Weissmuller, the most famous king of the jungle, never left the sacred Hollywood forest; it was the African beasts and feathered Tubis that were brought onto the camera set. THE CAMERA AND MAN 33 You had to be crazy, as some ethnographers apparently were, to take such forbidden tools to the field.

8. For details see Dieterlen 1971; Stoller 1992, 174–91; also see “The Mad Fox and the Pale Master” and the Dogon section of “CinéAnthropology,” in this volume. 9. For a detailed discussion, see “On the Vicissitudes of the Self,” in this volume. Stoller (1992, 161–73) reviews Tourou et Bitti and the phenomenology of Songhay rituals. 10. See Rouch 1972 for the full text of the film and a gallery of photographs, commentaries, and interviews. Also see “CinéAnthropology,” in this volume. 11. See especially Eaton 1979; also, for example, Dumont 1978; Heider 1976, 1983; MacDougall 1975, 1976, 1978, 1998; Ruby 1980, 1982; Barnouw 1983, 253–62; Yakir 1978.

On the other hand, we should be aided by music that really supports an action, be it ritual, everyday, work rhythm, or dance. And although it is beyond the scope of this paper, I must mention the importance that sync filming will have in the field of ethnomusicology. Sound editing (background, speech, music) is undoubtedly as complex as picture editing. I believe that we still have enormous progress to make here in order to rid ourselves of prejudices we’ve come to via radio, prejudices that have led us to treat sound with more respect than image.

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