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Beyond observation

A history of authorship in ethnographic film

By Paul Henley

Beyond observation

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Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3136-2
  • Pages: 624
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: January 2020
  • BIC Category: PERFORMING ARTS / Film / Genres / Documentary, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General, The arts / Documentary films, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography, Society & social sciences / Anthropology
  • Series: Anthropology, Creative Practice and Ethnography

Description

A history of ethnographic film from the birth of cinema in 1895 until 2015 that analyses a large number of films made in a broad range of styles, on a broad range of topics and in many different parts of the world.

For the period before the Second World War, it considers films made in reportage, exotic melodrama and travelogue genres as well as more conventionally ethnographic films made for academic and state-funded purposes. It then describes how after the war, ethnographic film-makers developed various different modes of authorship inspired by the ideas of Jean Rouch, Robert Gardner and Colin Young.

It also considers films made from the 1970s by the indigenous subjects themselves as well as those made for British television up until the 1990s. In the final part, it examines various possible models for the future of ethnographic film.

Author

Paul Henley is Professorial Research Fellow at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester and an ethnographic film-maker. He was previously the founding director of the Granada Centre, 1987-2014.

Contents

Acknowledgements
List of figures
General Introduction: Authorship, Praxis, Observation, Ethnography
PART I: HISTORIES: ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Introduction
1. The long prehistory of ethnographic film
2. Expeditions, melodrama and the birth of ethnofiction
3. The invisible Author: films of re-enactment in the postwar period
4. Records, not movies: the early films of John Marshall and Timothy Asch
5. Reflexivity and participation: the films of David and Judith MacDougall in Africa and Australia
6. Entangled voices: the complexities of collaborative authorship
7. The subject as Author: indigenous media and the Video nas Aldeias project
PART II: AUTHORS: THREE KEY FIGURES
Introduction
8. Jean Rouch: sharing anthropology
9. Robert Gardner: beyond the burden of the real
10. Colin Young: the principles of Observational Cinema
PART III: TELEVISION AS META-AUTHOR: ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM IN BRITAIN
Introduction
11. Ways of doing ethnographic film on British television
12. Beyond the 'disappearing world' - and back again
13. The decline of ethnographic film on British television
PART IV: BEYOND OBSERVATION: ETHNOGRAPHIC FILM IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Introduction
14. The evolution of Observational Cinema: recent films of David and Judith MacDougall
15. Negative capability and the flux of life: films of the Sensory Ethnography Lab
16. Participatory perspectives
AN EPILOGUE: Return to Kiriwina: the ethnographic film-maker as Author
APPENDIX: British Television Documentaries produced in collaboration with Ethnographic Researchers
Textual references
Film references

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