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Films & Other Videos

Films with: Rouch, Jean

Chasse au lion l'arc
Shot over a period of seven years (1958-1965), the film is a documentation of lion hunting, using bows and arrows, among the Fula and Songhay people of Niger, and the social structure that underlies it.
DVD 9895
Chronique d'un été (Paris 1960) Chronicle of a summer /
By interviewing a group of Paris residents in the summer of 1960, Rouch and Morin reveal the hopes and dreams of a wide array of people and give us a document of a time and place with extraordinary depth.
DVD 9476
Cinéma vérité defining the moment /
"The cinéma vérité (or direct cinema) movement of the '50s and '60s was driven by a group of rebel filmmakers tired of stilted documentaries. They wanted to show life as it really is: raw, gritty, dramatic. Rich in excerpts from vérité classics ... this is the first film to capture all the excitement of a revolution that changed movie-making forever"--Container. Includes commentary by filmmakers, and explores vérité's influence in everything from TV news to music videos to Webcams.
DVD 3959
Dead birds
A photographic and ethnographic study which was sponsored by the Peabody Museum, from February 1961 to November 1963, of the Dani, a people dwelling in the Grand Valley of the Baliem, high in the mountains of western New Guinea.
DVD 5611
Jaguar
One of Jean Rouch's classic ethnofictions, the film follows three young Songhay men from Niger-- Lam Ibrahim, Illo Goudel'ize, and the legendary performer Damouré Zika-- on a journey to the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana). Drawing from his own fieldwork on intra-African migration, the results of which he published in the 1956 book Migrations au Ghana, Rouch collaborated with his three subjects on an improvisational narrative. The four filmed the trip in mid-1950s, and reunited a few years later to record the sound, the participants remembering dialogue and making up commentary. The result is a playful film that finds three African men performing an ethnography of their own culture.
DVD 9898
Maîtres fous
Filmed it Accra, Ghana, in 1954, the film depicts the annual ceremony of the Hauku cult, a social and religious movement which was widespread in French colonial Africa from the 1920's to the 1950's. Participants in the ceremony mimic the elaborate military ceremonies of their colonial occupiers, but in more of a trance than true recreation.
DVD 9896
Mammy water
A portrait of a fishing village, Shama, Ghana, on the Gulf of Guinea, as filmed in 1953 and 1954. The success of the fishermen is governed by water spirits ("Mammy water") which are honored with ceremonies and offerings to the sea.
DVD 9899
Moi, un noir : (Treichville) /
"Moi, un noir marked Jean Rouch's break with traditional ethnography and his embrace of the collaborative and improvisatory strategies he called 'shared ethnography' and 'ethnofiction.' The film depicts an ordinary week in the lives of men and women from Niger who have migrated to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, for work. After a short introduction by Rouch, 'Edward G. Robinson'--Omarou Ganda, who like the film's other subject-collaborators plays himself under the name of a Western movie star--takes over the film's narration, recreating dialogue and providing freewheeling commentary on his experiences. Robinson describes the bitter reality of life in Treichville, a poor inner suburb populated largely by migrants, and his work as a day laborer (bozori) in the ports ... Rouch's stylistic innovations here exerted a profound influence on the French New Wave, and his collaborative process helped bolster the national cinemas of West Africa"--Container.
DVD 9866
Paris vu par
Six directors release six vignettes set in different sections of Paris. Includes: Saint-Germain-des-Pres (Douchet); Gare du Nord (Rouch); Rue Saint-Denis (Pollet); Place de l'Etoile (Rhomer); Montparnasse and Levallois (Godard); and La Muette (Chabrol).
DVD 9200
Petit à petit Little by little /
A classic ethnofiction by Jean Rouch, one of the pivotal figures in the French New Wave and in the history of ethnographic cinema. An innovative semi-improvised feature film about young men from Niger exploring life in Paris and learning to appreciate traditional values back home. Like Jaguar, and starring the three main actors from that film, Petit à Petit is an exercise in what Rouch called ethno-fiction, an idiosyncratic blend of fiction and observational documentary.
DVD 9897