Zhang, J. (2017). Tasting Tea and Filming Tea: The Filmmaker’s Engaged Sensory Experience.
Tasting Tea and Filming Tea: The Filmmaker’s Engaged Sensory Experience
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.
Zhang, J. (2017). Tasting Tea and Filming Tea: The Filmmaker’s Engaged Sensory Experience. Visual Anthropology Review, 33(2), 141-151.
Williams, Blake. “Cannes 2018 Dispatch #1: Everybody Knows, Birds of Passage.”
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.
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/.
Warpoole, Kailyn N. Visual Anthropology in Sardinia: Interview with Silvio Carta.
Visual Anthropology in Sardinia: Interview with Silvio Carta
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).
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/.
Volquardsen, Ebbe. “From Objects to Actors: Knud Rasmussen’s Ethnographic Feature Film the Wedding of Palo.”
From Objects to Actors: Knud Rasmussen’s Ethnographic Feature Film the Wedding of Palo
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.
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.
Visser, L. M. (Producer), & Visser, L. M. (Director). (2016). Unity: Dress-Scapes of Accra [Video file].
Unity: Dress-Scapes of Accra
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.
Visser, L. M. (Producer), & Visser, L. M. (Director). (2016). Unity: Dress-Scapes of Accra [Video file]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/205078498
Vannini, P. (2015). Ethnographic Film and Video on Hybrid Television: Learning from the Content, Style, and Distribution of Popular Ethnographic Documentaries.
Ethnographic Film and Video on Hybrid Television: Learning from the Content, Style, and Distribution of Popular Ethnographic Documentaries
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 socio-cultural 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.
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.
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