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Ciné-Ethnography

2003
Author:

Jean Rouch
Steven Feld, editor
Translated by Steven Feld

Ciné-Ethnography

Documenting the influential career of the legendary French documentary filmmaker

Edited and translated by Steven Feld

Jean Rouch has made more than one hundred documentary films in West Africa and France, pioneered numerous film techniques and technologies, and in the process inspired generations of filmmakers. Ciné-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.

Rouch is to African cinema what Jean-Paul Sartre was to Negritude.

Manthia Diawara, New York University

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 verité style, to today’s documentarians.

Ciné-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. Ciné-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, Ciné-Ethnography makes clear this remarkable and still vital filmmaker's major role in the history of documentary cinema.

Ciné-Ethnography

Jean Rouch was born in Paris in 1917. He studied civil engineering before turning to film and anthropology in response to his experiences in West Africa during World War II. Rouch is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Critics Award at Cannes for the film Chronicle of a Summer in 1961.

Steven Feld is professor of music and anthropology at Columbia University.

Ciné-Ethnography

Rouch is to African cinema what Jean-Paul Sartre was to Negritude.

Manthia Diawara, New York University

The publication of Ciné-Ethnography by Jean Rouch, a living legend in documentary film and world anthropology, is an event to celebrate. Ably introduced and translated by Steven Feld, this book, which will be an indispensable resource for any person interested in visual studies, introduces readers to the provocatively challenging visual world of Jean Rouch—in his own words. It is a wondrous world, indeed.

Paul Stoller, author of The Cinematic Griot: The Ethnography of Jean Rouch

Ciné-Ethnography is a definitive collection on the work of Jean Rouch. It is a book both by and about the pioneering documentary filmmaker whose motion pictures unite cinema and ethnography, documentary and drama, empirical science and surrealist dreams.

International Documentary

Certainly the most complete book in English about the work of this paramount character of visual anthropology.

Reviews in Anthropology

Ciné-Ethnography

Contents

Acknowledgments

Editor’s Introduction

PART I . ESSAYS BY JEAN ROUCH

The Camera and Man
The Situation and Tendencies of the Cinema in Africa
On the Vicissitudes of the Self: The Possessed Dancer, the Magician, the Sorcerer, the Filmmaker, and the Ethnographer
The Mad Fox and the Pale Master

PART I I . INTERVIEWS AND CONVERSATIONS WITH JEAN ROUCH

A Life on the Edge of Film and Anthropology Jean Rouch with Lucien Taylor
Ciné-Anthropology Jean Rouch with Enrico Fulchignoni
Les maîtres fous, The Lion Hunters,and Jaguar Jean Rouch with John Marshall and John W.Adams
The Politics of Visual Anthropology Jean Rouch with Dan Georgakas,Udayan Gupta,and Judy Janda

PART I I I . CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER: A FILM BOOK BY JEAN ROUCH AND EDGAR MORIN

Chronicle of a Film Edgar Morin
The Cinema of the Future? Jean Rouch
Chronicle of a Summer: The Film
The Point of View of the “Characters” Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch

PART IV. WORKS BY JEAN ROUCH

Annotated Filmography
Selective Bibliography
Publication Information

Index