Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The looking machineEssays on cinema, anthropology and documentary filmmaking$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David MacDougall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134097

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526134097.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 18 November 2019

Anthropology and the cinematic imagination

Anthropology and the cinematic imagination

Chapter:
(p.129) 10 Anthropology and the cinematic imagination
Source:
The looking machine
Author(s):

David MacDougall

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526134097.003.0011

The anthropologist George Marcus has written that cinema helped to inspire the use of montage-like juxtapositions in ethnographic texts. In this chapter, the author argues that the emergence of a cinematic imagination, which imagines the world constructed around the viewer, had more effect on anthropological writing than the presence of films themselves. Concern about how the construction of documentary films represents reality also probably preceded similar concerns by anthropologists about the writing of anthropological texts. In the 19th and early 20th century, anthropologists conceived of images as a source of knowledge, but this waned as they turned to less visible aspects of culture. Interest in visual anthropology only revived after the Second World War with the work of Jean Rouch and John Marshall, the first of whom pioneered a form of intense, immersive cinema, and the second who employed filming and editing strategies that placed the viewer imaginatively within the three-dimensional field of the scenes filmed. This tended to counteract the perceptual and conceptual ‘flatness’ of earlier representations of culture. Malinowski’s and Evans-Pritchard's writing had contributed to a more immediate and rounded view, but ethnographic cinema confirmed it, making a significant contribution to anthropology as a whole.

Keywords:   anthropology, ethnography, ethnographic film, stereoscopy, film history, John Marshall, Jean Rouch

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.