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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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The Fixing of the Truth

The Fixing of the Truth

(p.292) 14: The Fixing of the Truth
The Adventure of the Real
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on Jean Rouch's editing praxis. It shows that although Rouch may have been a Napoleon of the edit suite, dedicating himself with great energy to the resolution of technical problems, he only availed himself of a limited range of editorial weapons. Central to his editorial praxis was the superimposition of a poetic commentary that he always performed himself. So although Rouch may have set great store by preserving the objective integrity of the events represented in the images, the viewer's relationship to those images is always heavily mediated through the subjectivity of his oral performance. In effect, this involved what one might call a fixing of the truth in a somewhat different sense, that is, a fixing as in the final stage of a photographic process, in which a definitive form or coloration is imparted to an image.

Keywords:   Jean Rouch, ethnographic filmmakers, filmmaking, film editing, commentary

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