The Adventure of the Real: Jean Rouch and the Craft of Ethnographic Cinema

Paperback | February 1, 2010

byPaul Henley

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Though relatively unsung in the English-speaking world, Jean Rouch (1917–2004) was a towering figure of ethnographic cinema. Over the course of a fifty-year career, he completed over one hundred films, both documentary and fiction, and exerted an influence far beyond academia. Exhaustively researched yet elegantly written, The Adventure of the Real is the first comprehensive analysis of his practical filmmaking methods.

Rouch developed these methods while conducting anthropological research in West Africa in the 1940s–1950s. His innovative use of unscripted improvisation by his subjects had a profound impact on the French New Wave, Paul Henley reveals, while his documentary work launched the genre of cinema-vérité. In addition to tracking Rouch’s pioneering career, Henley examines the technical strategies, aesthetic considerations, and ethical positions that contribute to Rouch’s cinematographic legacy. Featuring over one hundred and fifty images, The Adventure of the Real is an essential introduction to Rouch’s work.

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Though relatively unsung in the English-speaking world, Jean Rouch (1917–2004) was a towering figure of ethnographic cinema. Over the course of a fifty-year career, he completed over one hundred films, both documentary and fiction, and exerted an influence far beyond academia. Exhaustively researched yet elegantly written, The Adventur...

Paul Henley is director of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, professor of visual anthropology at the University of Manchester, and a documentary filmmaker.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:536 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:February 1, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226327159

ISBN - 13:9780226327150

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Initiation

The Surrealist Encounter


Part I: The Camera and a Man In Africa


Nothing but Cinema

Encounters with Spirits

Heroes of the Modern World

Dreams of Black and White

Images of Power


Part II: Between Paris and the Land of Nowhere


Introduction: New Technologies, New Methods

Chronicle of a Violent Game
New Wave Experiments

Between Paris and the Land of Nowhere

A Struggle Waged Against Corruption


Part III: The Craft of Ethnographic Cinema


Introduction: Totemic Ancestors

Inspired Performance

The Harsh Dialogue

The Fixing of the Truth

Shared Anthropology
The Legacy of Jean Rouch

Appendixes

1. The Films of Jean Rouch

2. Jean Rouch’s Films by Year and Category, 1946– 2002

3. Films about Jean Rouch and His Nigerien Associates


Notes

Reference List

Index