Once hailed as a radical breakthrough in documentary and ethnographic filmmaking, observational cinema has been criticized for a supposedly detached camera that objectifies and dehumanizes the subjects of its gaze. Anna Grimshaw and Amanda Ravetz provide the first critical history and in-depth appraisal of this movement, examining key works, filmmakers, and theorists, from André Bazin and the Italian neorealists, to American documentary films of the 1960s, to extended discussions of the ethnographic films of Herb Di Gioia, David Hancock, and David MacDougall. They make a new case for the importance of observational work in an emerging experimental anthropology, arguing that this medium exemplifies a non-textual anthropology that is both analytically rigorous and epistemologically challenging.
|Publisher:||Indiana University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Anna Grimshaw is Associate Professor in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, Emory University. She is author of Servants of the Buddha and The Ethnographer’s Eye: Ways of Seeing in Modern Anthropology.
Amanda Ravetz is Research Fellow at Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University.
Table of Contents
1. What Is Observational Cinema?
2. Social Observers: Robert Drew, Albert and David Maysles, Frederick Wiseman
3. Observational Cinema in the Making: The Work of Herb Di Gioia and David Hancock
4. Observational Cinema on the Move: The Work of David MacDougall
5. Rethinking Observational Cinema
6. Toward an Experimental Anthropology
What People are Saying About This
Grimshaw and Ravetz not only demonstrate felicitous linkages between visual and social anthropology, which is highly welcomed, but between anthropological gazes and artistic visions. We need more of these kinds of expanded multidisciplinary works for they break new ground and expand the space of imagination.