Resources2020-06-14T07:27:49+00:00
  • Books and Chapters

Volquardsen, Ebbe. “FROM OBJECTS TO ACTORS: KNUD RASMUSSEN’S ETHNOGRAPHIC FEATURE FILM THE WEDDING OF PALO.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 215–21.

During the summer months of 1932 and 1933, the 7th Thule Expedition led an international team of researchers, under Knud Rasmussen’s guidance, to Greenland’s east coast. There, the team conducted cartographic work, as well as archaeological and geological investigations. In 1921, Denmark had declared the entirety of Greenland and its surrounding waters to be Danish territory, and had since that time been in open conflict with Norway. The Norwegians, independent since 1905, regarded Greenland as their historical property, and recognised only the colonies situated on the west coast as Danish territory.

Sarkisova, Oksana. “ARCTIC TRAVELOGUES: CONQUERING THE SOVIET NORTH.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 222–34.

Early Soviet policies towards the numerically small Northern and Far Eastern indigenous populations emerged from a nineteenth-century populist framework that saw cultural extinction as a major problem (Kuper 1988: 2–3). In the early 1920s, the Soviet press frequently presented the situation of the indigenous population of the North as ‘worsening’, ‘becoming harder’, and finally reaching a ‘catastrophic’ stage (cf. Ianovich 1923: 251–4; Slezkine 1994: 131–83). Soviet nationality policy, defined by Francine Hirsch as a ‘state-sponsored evolutionism’, grounded the Soviet ‘civilizing mission’ in the Marxist concept of development through historical stages (Hirsch 2005: 7).

Roston, Tom. “‘We Come As Friends’, or Do We? Hubert Sauper’s New Documentary on South Sudan.” POV’s Documentary Blog, http://archive.pov.org/blog/docsoup/2015/08/we-come-as-friends-or-do-we-hubert-saupers-new-documentary-on-south-sudan/.

We Come As Friends is about as idiosyncratic a film as I could imagine — visually stunning, lyrically composed, hilariously opinionated — meaning it may not be a smash hit at the box office when it is released in theaters this Friday, but anyone who sees it is in for the closest we’ll ever come to a hybridization of Michael Moore and the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab. That is never going to happen, so you have to check this out.

Nair, Kartik. “Scouting the Past: A Conversation with Priya Jaikumar on Where Histories Reside: India as Filmed Space.” Film Quarterly, 10 Sept. 2019, https://filmquarterly.org/2019/09/10/scouting-the-past-a-conversation-with-priya-jaikumar-on-where-histories-reside-india-as-filmed-space/.

Kartik Nair in conversation with Priya Jaikumar about her new book, Where Histories Reside: India as Filmed Space.

MacKenzie, Scott. “THE CREATIVE TREATMENT OF ALTERITY: NANOOK AS THE NORTH.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 201–14.

This chapter considers Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North (US, 1922) – probably the most famous Arctic film ever made – and the many, often fraught, reiterations of the film in the cinematic imaginary of the Arctic. Starting with Flaherty’s film – typically understood to be, pace John Grierson, the first ‘documentary’ – the chapter examines the ways in which the stories of ‘Nanook’ (played by Inuit hunter Allakariallak) and Flaherty have been continuously rearticulated throughout cinema history, in works as diverse as realist ethnographic documentaries like Nanook Revisited (Claude Massot, France, 1990), narrative feature film retellings of Flaherty’s filming…

Larsson, Mariah, and Anna Westerstahl Stenport. “WOMEN ARCTIC EXPLORERS: In Front of and Behind the Camera.” Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos, edited by Anna Westerstahl Stenport et al., Indiana University Press, 2019, pp. 68–91.

Cameras have been brought on expeditions to the Far North for over a century. Explorers who were also filmmakers include Anthony Fiala on the Ziegler Polar Expedition (1903–05), Donald MacMillan on the Crocker Land Expedition (1913–17), Fyodor Bremer on the Kolyma voyage to the Bering Strait, the Far East, and Kamchatka (1913–1914), and Leo Hansen as part of Knud Rasmussen’s Fifth Thule Expedition on dog sled from Greenland to Alaska (1921–24).

  • Ethnography

Williams, Blake. “Cannes 2018 Dispatch #1: Everybody Knows, Birds of Passage.” Filmmaker Magazine, https://filmmakermagazine.com/105310-cannes-2018-dispatch-1-everybody-knows-birds-of-passage/.

One’s valuation of a film—really, any piece of art—is inseparable from the conditions in which it was experienced. The time of day or overall mood and health at the time of the screening (or link-watching) inform my appreciation of a movie just as much as anything else (save for aesthetic preference and sensibility, perhaps), and this extends to festival contexts—to the ways a film participates in the narrative arc of the nine or ten or twelve days of the event, to the impatience stemming from a lack of masterpieces (or good movies, period), and so on. I bring this up to provide some reference for why I might have been especially ill-positioned to receive my first two movies of this year’s Cannes: Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows, which opened the Official Selection last night, and Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra’s Birds of Passage, which opened the 50th Directors’ Fortnight this morning.

Warpoole, Kailyn N. Visual Anthropology in Sardinia: Interview with Silvio Carta. By Kailyn N. Warpole | Film Matters Magazine. https://www.filmmattersmagazine.com/2015/09/21/visual-anthropology-in-sardinia-interview-with-silvio-carta-by-kailyn-n-warpole/.

Silvio Carta completed his PhD in Italian Studies at the University of Birmingham. His articles and reviews have appeared in Visual Anthropology, Visual Anthropology Review, Visual Studies, Visual Ethnography, and Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, among other publications. To find out more about his book Visual Anthropology in Sardinia, Film Matters conducted a Q & A with Carta via email correspondence (June-July 2015).

Volquardsen, Ebbe. “FROM OBJECTS TO ACTORS: KNUD RASMUSSEN’S ETHNOGRAPHIC FEATURE FILM THE WEDDING OF PALO.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 215–21.

During the summer months of 1932 and 1933, the 7th Thule Expedition led an international team of researchers, under Knud Rasmussen’s guidance, to Greenland’s east coast. There, the team conducted cartographic work, as well as archaeological and geological investigations. In 1921, Denmark had declared the entirety of Greenland and its surrounding waters to be Danish territory, and had since that time been in open conflict with Norway. The Norwegians, independent since 1905, regarded Greenland as their historical property, and recognised only the colonies situated on the west coast as Danish territory.

Stevenson, A. (2017). Arrival Stories: Using Participatory, Embodied, Sensory Ethnography to Explore the Making of an English City for Newly Arrived International Students. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 46(5), 544-572.

Places are more than mere locations indicated by coordinates on a map. They are sites invested with meaning that arises out of mobile, embodied, sensuous experience. The construction of place is explored here in the context of participatory, embodied, sensory ethnographic research. I curated a series of ethnographic engagements with international students who were newly arrived in the city of Manchester, England. A participatory, embodied, sensory ethnographic method was used to explore ways in which meaningful places are constructed through the body and senses. This article reports on walking interviews with Tala (from Zambia), Ann (from Romania), Al (from Tunisia), Abbie (from Spain), and her guide dog Tori (from the U.S.), to explore their corporeal and sensuous engagements with their new city, using a combination of transcribed interviews and other, less language-based products of our engagements (photography, artifacts, soundscapes).

Sarkisova, Oksana. “ARCTIC TRAVELOGUES: CONQUERING THE SOVIET NORTH.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 222–34.

Early Soviet policies towards the numerically small Northern and Far Eastern indigenous populations emerged from a nineteenth-century populist framework that saw cultural extinction as a major problem (Kuper 1988: 2–3). In the early 1920s, the Soviet press frequently presented the situation of the indigenous population of the North as ‘worsening’, ‘becoming harder’, and finally reaching a ‘catastrophic’ stage (cf. Ianovich 1923: 251–4; Slezkine 1994: 131–83). Soviet nationality policy, defined by Francine Hirsch as a ‘state-sponsored evolutionism’, grounded the Soviet ‘civilizing mission’ in the Marxist concept of development through historical stages (Hirsch 2005: 7).

Sanderud, J. (2018). Mutual experiences: Understanding children’s play in nature through sensory ethnography. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 1-12.

This paper introduces the concept ‘mutual experiences’ to highlight how a researcher’s sensory experiences may contribute to producing knowledge concerning children’s bodily play in a natural environment. The article also demonstrates how photo-interviews can give a researcher virtual access to places and events where s/he cannot be present. The inspiration for the concept of ‘mutual experiences’ emerged from three sources: (1) The premise that human experiences and knowledge are embodied and develop interactively from environments, (2) the literature on sensory ethnography and (3) ethnographically inspired studies of children playing in a natural environment. The concept is illustrated through an analysis of empirical examples. It is argued that applying this concept could contribute to a more open, enriched and intersubjective understanding of children’s interactive play in a natural environment. Article ahead-of-print.

  • Experimental Ethnography

Walley, C. (2015). Transmedia as experimental ethnography: The Exit Zero Project, deindustrialization, and the politics of nostalgia: Exit Zero: On transmedia. American Ethnologist, 42(4), 624-639.

How might “transmedia” approaches—or working across media—fit into histories of textual and visual innovation within anthropology, and what might they contribute to the discipline in the current moment? I explore this question through the Exit Zero Project, which includes a book, documentary film, and planned interactive website that examine the impact of deindustrialization on Southeast Chicago and the relationship between industrial job loss and expanding class inequalities in the United States. While the book and film take an “autoethnographic” approach, the website is based on collaboration with a local museum. I argue that transmedia ethnography both provokes new research questions and supports a growing interest in public anthropology by offering diverse spaces for engagement with subjects and audiences. Mass hysteria in Le Roy, New York: How brain experts materialized truth and outscienced environmental inquiry Teenage schoolgirls in Le Roy, New York, captured the attention of the U.S. public in 2011 and 2012 when they developed acute motor and vocal tics. Dramatic images of the girls’ involuntary movements were briefly seen on national news and social media before clinical neurologists diagnosed the girls with “mass psychogenic illness” and required their retreat from media as part of the cure. Drawing from perspectives in medical and linguistic anthropology as well as the anthropology of expertise, we interrogate how this diagnosis, called “mass hysteria” in a previous generation of Freudian psychology, came to be favored over attribution to a potential environmental cause. Neurologists countered the evidential vagueness of environmental claims by suggesting that material proof of psychological origin could lie in fMRI data, contributing to a public narrative on female adolescent brains and rural U.S. communities that foreclosed environmental inquiry.

Russell, C. (2015). Leviathan and the Discourse of Sensory Ethnography: Spleen et idéal. Visual Anthropology Review, 31(1), 27-34.

This article asks about the stakes of experimental ethnography in Leviathan by analyzing the film in terms of Walter Benjamin’s concept of anthropological materialism. Taking into account the digital technologies of production, and the goals of the filmmakers as exponents of sensory ethnography, my inquiry pursues three interrelated questions: the experience of Leviathan, the humanism of Leviathan, and the text of Leviathan.

Kravanja, Peter, and Maarten Coëgnarts. Embodied Visual Meaning in Film. 2015, pp. 63–80.

This chapter presents an embodied account of visual meaning-making in cinema. Borrowing insights from cognitive linguistics, and in particular Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), we intend to show how film is an exemplary case of embodied, immanent meaning. What do we mean when we say that the meaning of particular visual features in film is grounded in sensory-motor experience? And what role do image schemas play in the conveyance of abstract thought in film? These are some of the questions that we are going to address in this chapter. We start our essay with a brief discussion and criticism of the traditional conceptual view of meaning according to which meaning is considered solely as a property of language. Secondly, we show how an embodied view of meaning offers an alternative to the propositional view of meaning. We conclude our contribution with an analysis of two examples of embodied visual meaning in cinema. More specifically, we demonstrate how image schemas serve as important solutions to the problem of how to represent abstract concepts in film.

Jørgensen, Anne Mette. “A GENTLE GAZE ON THE COLONY: JETTE BANG’S DOCUMENTARY FILMING IN GREENLAND 1938–9.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 235–44.

Among a memorable series of Arctic explorers, scientists and adventurers during the past centuries, few women stand out. One exception is Jette Bang (1914–64), who produced photographic and filmic documentation of Greenland from 1937 onwards. Her extraordinary number of high-quality photographs, now available in a vast digital archive, had a profound influence upon Danish and Greenlandic perceptions of life in Greenland during and after World War II. Her early films, in contrast, were widely neglected and have only recently been made available. In particular the film material she recorded in 1938–9 in West Greenland demands further attention.

Hynes, Eric. “How It Happened.” Film Comment; New York, vol. 52, no. 1, Feb. 2016, pp. 20–21.

Camera and filmmaker are invited into group therapy sessions in which soldiers recount, at length, the traumas they have experienced; we then look on as the same men try to adjust to normal lives that may never feel normal again. Thanks to Sniadecki’s snaking camera and Ernst Karel’s predictably ace sound design (the film begins with several minutes of avant-jazzlike rail screeching over a black screen), it’s a worthy addition to the Sensory Ethnography Lab’s deepening hard-rock catalog.

Holloway, Caroline Forcier. “EXERCISE MUSK-OX:: THE CHALLENGES OF FILMING A MILITARY EXPEDITION IN CANADA’S ARCTIC.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 245–54.

Canada’s Arctic has always attracted explorers to its vast expanses to stake claims or to study its natural resources and its people. Motion picture film has played an important role in documenting those who have ventured to frozen lands to explore Northern regions. In films shot by either amateur or professional filmmakers, the common theme is often one of survival. This paper explores the journey of members of the British-Canadian Arctic Expedition (1936–40), and Exercise Musk-Ox (1946), who under very challenging conditions braved the elements, along with their motion picture cameras, just as many explorers who came before and after them.

  • Ethnography film cinema

Zhang, J. (2017). Tasting Tea and Filming Tea: The Filmmaker’s Engaged Sensory Experience. Visual Anthropology Review, 33(2), 141-151.

Exploring the sense of taste with ethnographic film is challenging because the nature of taste is hard to record, describe, and remember, and also because film is restricted to recording just image and sound. Based on the author’s experience in tasting tea and making films about tea in China, this article discusses the importance of incorporating the sensory experience of the filmmaker in exploring and representing the taste sensation. It argues that film can go beyond the limit of describing taste with words to represent and evoke the sense of taste, specifically through the filmmaker’s embodied experience. Through active engagement with the sensory environment, film also generates new anthropological knowledge, linking the sensory experience of the filmmaker, the subject, and the viewer more closely.

Williams, Blake. “Cannes 2018 Dispatch #1: Everybody Knows, Birds of Passage.” Filmmaker Magazine, https://filmmakermagazine.com/105310-cannes-2018-dispatch-1-everybody-knows-birds-of-passage/.

One’s valuation of a film—really, any piece of art—is inseparable from the conditions in which it was experienced. The time of day or overall mood and health at the time of the screening (or link-watching) inform my appreciation of a movie just as much as anything else (save for aesthetic preference and sensibility, perhaps), and this extends to festival contexts—to the ways a film participates in the narrative arc of the nine or ten or twelve days of the event, to the impatience stemming from a lack of masterpieces (or good movies, period), and so on. I bring this up to provide some reference for why I might have been especially ill-positioned to receive my first two movies of this year’s Cannes: Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows, which opened the Official Selection last night, and Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra’s Birds of Passage, which opened the 50th Directors’ Fortnight this morning.

Warpoole, Kailyn N. Visual Anthropology in Sardinia: Interview with Silvio Carta. By Kailyn N. Warpole | Film Matters Magazine. https://www.filmmattersmagazine.com/2015/09/21/visual-anthropology-in-sardinia-interview-with-silvio-carta-by-kailyn-n-warpole/.

Silvio Carta completed his PhD in Italian Studies at the University of Birmingham. His articles and reviews have appeared in Visual Anthropology, Visual Anthropology Review, Visual Studies, Visual Ethnography, and Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, among other publications. To find out more about his book Visual Anthropology in Sardinia, Film Matters conducted a Q & A with Carta via email correspondence (June-July 2015).

Volquardsen, Ebbe. “FROM OBJECTS TO ACTORS: KNUD RASMUSSEN’S ETHNOGRAPHIC FEATURE FILM THE WEDDING OF PALO.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 215–21.

During the summer months of 1932 and 1933, the 7th Thule Expedition led an international team of researchers, under Knud Rasmussen’s guidance, to Greenland’s east coast. There, the team conducted cartographic work, as well as archaeological and geological investigations. In 1921, Denmark had declared the entirety of Greenland and its surrounding waters to be Danish territory, and had since that time been in open conflict with Norway. The Norwegians, independent since 1905, regarded Greenland as their historical property, and recognised only the colonies situated on the west coast as Danish territory.

Visser, L. M. (Producer), & Visser, L. M. (Director). (2016). Unity: Dress-Scapes of Accra [Video file]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/205078498

This ethnographic movie takes us to Accra, the capital of Ghana, where a booming fashion industry celebrates tailor-made fashion from traditional and contemporary African prints to hybrid styles, mixing the African with the Western. Throughout the film, we follow Allan and his wife Cynthia, who make and design African wear that expresses and celebrates African identity, tradition and creativity.

Vannini, P. (2015). Ethnographic Film and Video on Hybrid Television: Learning from the Content, Style, and Distribution of Popular Ethnographic Documentaries. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 44(4), 391-416.

Academic ethnographers have been utilizing film, and more recently video, for a variety of research purposes including the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data. But ethnographic film and video are not the exclusive domain of university-based ethnographers or professionally trained ethnographic researchers. More and more ethnographic films and video documentaries are nowadays produced by filmmakers who aren’t necessarily interested in utilizing their work to advance anthropological, sociological, or other disciplines’ theoretical or substantive agendas. Interestingly, these documentaries often garner wider distribution and larger audiences than ethnographic films and videos made by academics, leading us to question the identity of ethnographic documentary and the potential of this genre to both advance ethnological knowledge and the sociocultural imagination. In this article, I examine this phenomenon focusing on nonacademic wide-distribution ethnographic documentaries available on cable and satellite TV, Netflix, and iTunes, reflecting on their content, style, distribution strategies, and their status as social scientific ethnographic representations.

  • Experimental Film Cinema 

Stevenson, L., & Kohn, E. (2015). Leviathan: An Ethnographic Dream. Visual Anthropology Review, 31(1), 49-53.

Leviathan, an experimental ethnographic film by Castaing‐Taylor and Paravel, is groundbreaking. By decoupling voice from any stable narrative perspective, it allows the viewer to be made over by a world beyond the human. It is, we argue, a form of dreaming—a modality of attention that can open us to the beings with whom we share this fragile planet. As such, Leviathan gestures to a sort of ontological poetics and politics for the so‐called Anthropocene.

Schäuble, M. (2019). Ecstasy, Choreography and Re-Enactment: Aesthetic and Political Dimensions of Filming States of Trance and Spirit Possession in Postwar Southern Italy. Visual Anthropology, 32(1), 33-55.

States of trance and spirit possession have inspired the modernist imagination perhaps more than anything else, as they typically exceed the limits of visual representation. This article investigates different approaches to coping with these challenges, focusing on the works of a group of Italian documentary filmmakers, including Luigi di Gianni, Cecilia Mangini, and Gianfranco Mingozzi, who used a novel set of audiovisual techniques to explore ecstatic religious expressions in southern Italy in the postwar years. I look into the processes through which trance and possession rituals (e.g. Apulian tarantism) themselves have inspired and initiated innovations in audiovisual documentation by means of combining-or blurring the boundaries between-ethnographic and experimental modes of cinematic practice. Through highly stylized image/sound compositions including high-contrast lighting, wood-cut like silhouettes, montage, abstract sound effects and poetic, partly fictionalized commentary, as well as by consciously making use of re-enactments and staged encounters, these films contest both the realist-observational narrative and the focus on individuals otherwise prevalent in ethnographic filmmaking. Reading the Italian films against the backdrop of the earlier and contemporaneous, yet much better-known trance films of Maya Deren and Jean Rouch, the article argues that their antirealist audiovisual aesthetic fabricates a social aesthetic that raises sensitivity to human experience and fosters a radically humanist stance.

Lemelson, Robert, and Briana Young. “The Balinese Cockfight Reimagined: Tajen: Interactive and the Prospects for a Multimodal Anthropology.” American Anthropologist, vol. 120, no. 4, Dec. 2018, pp. 831–43.

An essay which documents a film project highlighting the iterative and creative process involved in the anthropological study of “tajen,” or the Balinese cockfight, is presented. Topics covered include the nonfiction narrative storytelling approach similar to sensory ethnography used in the film, techniques used in shooting for the film, immersion in the world of cockfighting and using the process of ethnographic observation and interviewing and the process of making Tajen: Interactive.

Kravanja, Peter, and Maarten Coëgnarts. Embodied Visual Meaning in Film. 2015, pp. 63–80.

This chapter presents an embodied account of visual meaning-making in cinema. Borrowing insights from cognitive linguistics, and in particular Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), we intend to show how film is an exemplary case of embodied, immanent meaning. What do we mean when we say that the meaning of particular visual features in film is grounded in sensory-motor experience? And what role do image schemas play in the conveyance of abstract thought in film? These are some of the questions that we are going to address in this chapter. We start our essay with a brief discussion and criticism of the traditional conceptual view of meaning according to which meaning is considered solely as a property of language. Secondly, we show how an embodied view of meaning offers an alternative to the propositional view of meaning. We conclude our contribution with an analysis of two examples of embodied visual meaning in cinema. More specifically, we demonstrate how image schemas serve as important solutions to the problem of how to represent abstract concepts in film.

Kramvig, Britt, and Rachel Andersen Gomez. “FROM DREAMLAND TO HOMELAND: A Journey toward Futures Different than Pasts.” Arctic Cinemas and the Documentary Ethos, edited by Lilya Kaganovsky et al., Indiana University Press, 2019, pp. 322–34.

This chapter provides an artists-scholars’ reflection on the experience of and inspiration behind the making of an essayistic documentary for the twenty-first century: Dreamland by Britt Kramvig and Rachel Andersen Gomez (Norway, 2016). Depicting people, places, and events in Sápmi, the film melds past and present. A line from the poem “Dream-Land” (1844) by Edgar Allan Poe inspired the film’s title, signaling the purposeful interweaving of multiple influences, traditions, and paradigms. The film is conceived as a theoretical and aesthetic intervention, featuring an Indigenous anthropologist performing as an “earthling”, that is, a figure committed to telling new stories…

Ihle, Johanne Haaber. “THE TOUR: A FILM ABOUT LONGYEARBYEN, SVALBARD. AN INTERVIEW WITH EVA LA COUR.” Films on Ice, edited by Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerståhl Stenport, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 255–60.

The Tour is a video montage produced as part of a thesis on Media and Visual Anthropology at the Freie Universität in Berlin, based on fieldwork in Longyearbyen on Svalbard in 2011 – a Norwegian archipelago in the High Arctic. Here I focused on a set of research questions around the relationship between lived and projected realities on Svalbard, which I sought to explore among a group of taxi drivers and by working as a taxi driver myself.

Williams, Blake. “Cannes 2018 Dispatch #1: Everybody Knows, Birds of Passage.” Filmmaker Magazine, https://filmmakermagazine.com/105310-cannes-2018-dispatch-1-everybody-knows-birds-of-passage/.

One’s valuation of a film—really, any piece of art—is inseparable from the conditions in which it was experienced. The time of day or overall mood and health at the time of the screening (or link-watching) inform my appreciation of a movie just as much as anything else (save for aesthetic preference and sensibility, perhaps), and this extends to festival contexts—to the ways a film participates in the narrative arc of the nine or ten or twelve days of the event, to the impatience stemming from a lack of masterpieces (or good movies, period), and so on. I bring this up to provide some reference for why I might have been especially ill-positioned to receive my first two movies of this year’s Cannes: Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows, which opened the Official Selection last night, and Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra’s Birds of Passage, which opened the 50th Directors’ Fortnight this morning.

Warpoole, Kailyn N. Visual Anthropology in Sardinia: Interview with Silvio Carta. By Kailyn N. Warpole | Film Matters Magazine. https://www.filmmattersmagazine.com/2015/09/21/visual-anthropology-in-sardinia-interview-with-silvio-carta-by-kailyn-n-warpole/.

Silvio Carta completed his PhD in Italian Studies at the University of Birmingham. His articles and reviews have appeared in Visual Anthropology, Visual Anthropology Review, Visual Studies, Visual Ethnography, and Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, among other publications. To find out more about his book Visual Anthropology in Sardinia, Film Matters conducted a Q & A with Carta via email correspondence (June-July 2015).

Nair, Kartik. “Scouting the Past: A Conversation with Priya Jaikumar on Where Histories Reside: India as Filmed Space.” Film Quarterly, 10 Sept. 2019, https://filmquarterly.org/2019/09/10/scouting-the-past-a-conversation-with-priya-jaikumar-on-where-histories-reside-india-as-filmed-space/.

Kartik Nair in conversation with Priya Jaikumar about her new book, Where Histories Reside: India as Filmed Space.

Kümpel, Anna Sophie, et al. “News Sharing in Social Media: A Review of Current Research on News Sharing Users, Content, and Networks.” Social Media + Society, vol. 1, no. 2, July 2015

This article provides a review of scientific, peer-reviewed articles that examine the relationship between news sharing and social media in the period from 2004 to 2014. A total of 461 articles were obtained following a literature search in two databases (Communication & Mass Media Complete [CMMC] and ACM), out of which 109 were deemed relevant based on the study’s inclusion criteria. In order to identify general tendencies and to uncover nuanced findings, news sharing research was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Three central areas of research—news sharing users, content, and networks—were identified and systematically reviewed. In the central concluding section, the results of the review are used to provide a critical diagnosis of current research and suggestions on how to move forward in news sharing research.

Kerim. The Four Dimensions of Ethnographic Films | Savage Minds. //https://savageminds.org/2017/07/26/the-four-dimensions-of-ethnographic-films/.

In my last post I argued that rather than choosing between overly narrow “closed” or overly broad “open” definitions of ethnographic film, it would be better to follow Uberto Eco’s model of listing a “family of resemblances.” This would consist of a list of features that make a film “ethnographic” but without any two ethnographic films necessarily sharing the exact same list of features. When I wrote that I had a draft list of about sixteen features I had been working on.

Grimaldi, Carmine. “Beyond the Boundaries of Language.” Filmmaker Magazine, https://filmmakermagazine.com/102727-beyond-the-boundaries-of-language/.

In recent memory, there’s been a never-ending deluge of bad news for the arts and humanities in the U.S.: government support, which is already low, may be cut entirely; universities, facing budget crises, have axed language and arts programs; prominent professors spend their time writing books defending the basic value of humanistic inquiry, while their pecuniary graduate students fight for poverty wages as adjuncts, and earn a little money on the side writing articles about their plight.