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The Adventure of the RealJean Rouch and the Craft of Ethnographic Cinema$
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Paul Henley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226327143

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226327167.001.0001

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Inspired Performance

Inspired Performance

(p.255) 12: Inspired Performance
The Adventure of the Real
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses some of the key principles of Jean Rouch's shooting praxis. Rouch believed that an essential requirement for any successful filmmaking adventure was the presence of some element of risk and chance, to which the filmmaker would be required to improvise an inspired response. If a shot is be successful, the cameraperson must think quickly on his feet about where to position himself, what or whom to follow, how to frame his shots and so on. But for the best possible result, it is necessary for there to be an inspired performance on both sides of the lens, by the subjects as well as by the filmmaker. Moreover, these performances by subjects and filmmaker must be “in connivance,” that is, in some sense in unison with one another. There must be skill, but also risk.

Keywords:   Jean Rouch, ethnographic filmmakers, filmmaking, film shooting, filming

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