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The looking machineEssays on cinema, anthropology and documentary filmmaking$
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David MacDougall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134097

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526134097.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021



(p.1) Introduction
The looking machine

David MacDougall

Manchester University Press

The introduction describes the book as a set of essays based on the author’s practice in ethnographic and documentary filmmaking. The essays attempt to close the gap between the experiences of the filmmaker and the film viewer, moving from personal observations to more theoretical essays on film construction and reception, and finally to the role of documentary film in anthropology and public discourse. Two key themes of the book are the relations between filmmaker and film subject and between filmmaker and viewer, in particular with regard to how much access the viewer is given to the realities of the filmmaking process– a major concern of the new documentary cinema of the 1960s. Another concern of the book is the power of film to evoke physical sensations, an important element in recent ethnographic filmmaking. However, the author cautions that this power should not simply become one more method of manipulating the viewer.

Keywords:   filmmaking, cinema, documentary, ethnography, theory, the senses

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