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Ethnographic film - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Ethnographic film History and Relationship between a filmmaker and Anthropologist. These are the film that relate to ethnology methods. Initially ethnographers documented their professional work in films during their field studies…
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Ethnographic film
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Download file to see previous pages There has no actual date that states the origin of this film. The initial instances of these films were the footages that projectionists and film makers took during their travels. They took footages of distant cultures in the places they visited. Colonizers also used them to educate the countries they colonized during their travels. They viewed them later during the journey or after returning home. Some argue that they begum in 1895 when Lumiere shown his film named ‘Arrival of Train’. During that time, the travelling agents also shown their clips during their travel. However, the anthropologist disagrees that this inspired the production of ethnographic films. They claim that the people who acted this film did not have acting experience and non-western. The cultures of this people had no exposure to the modern world and lived in the non-urban area. These factors disregard that these films originated during that time. After the First World War museums and universities started using ethnological films in their anthropological teachings. Commercial producers such as Paul Fejos trained anthropologists on how to use filming tools during their researches. They also collaborated with institutions and museums to produce high quality movies (Beate 67). Robert J Flaherty produced and shown his film “Nanook of the North’ in 1920. The film consisted of documentaries and stage crafts. He intended to naturalistically to portray people who lived in the arctic regions. He did not have any anthropology background but the subjects in his movie interacted with him well. People saw his pictures portray the unknown Eskimo way of life real. This made him the godfather of ethnological films together with his previous films he had recorded. Later in Gregory and Mead released their film ‘Hunter’. It documented the complex rituals that take place in New Guinea. This became the most viewed ethnographic films in different American institutions. Other ethnographic films that followed: Napoleon Chagnon, The story of a Kung Woman and The Feast. Marcel, Dieterlen and Rouch flourished production of ethnographic films in France. Discovery of 16mm cameras and light tape-recorders led to evolution of Visual anthropology. Then followed enhancement of filming techniques in visual anthropology by Rouch. Then Robert and Karl introduced editing and filming as a serious research technique. Then ‘Dead Birds’, a film produced later combined all these enhancements during its filming and production. In 1970’s, Judith and MacDougall started to produce ethnographic films with subtitles. Later different production techniques such as reflex ion and experimental montages become introduced in filming of ethnographic films by Minh-Ha. These summarize a brief history of how ethnographic films evolved in the world. There have been conflicts between the filmmakers and the archaeologist. Archaeologists argue that the ethnological films they produce do not satisfy the required criteria. Lack of scientific knowledge among the filmmakers contributes to this problem. They further argue that the filmmakers only primarily concerned with meeting documentary film conventions. This makes them not to meet the convention of ethnological films. These conventions require their images and sound tracks to be anthropological in nature. The film makers depend on verbal or written words to make their films anthropological. This again makes them fail to meet the conve ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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