Jean Rouch's Horendi, followed by a discussion with Nancy Lutkehas, Michael Renov, and Olivia Wyatt
Sunday, January 27, 2013, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents:
Jean Rouch's Horendi, followed by a discussion with Nancy Lutkehas, Michael Renov, and Olivia Wyatt
Part of Farther Than Far: The Cinema of Jean Rouch
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or by cash or check at the door.
With Nancy Lutkehas, Michael Renov, and Olivia Wyatt in person!
Jean Rouch is simply one of the most significant filmmakers of the 20th century, his approaches influencing innumerable films after him. Filmforum joins with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, REDCAT, and French Film & TV OfficeConsulate General of France in Los Angeles to present this major retrospective of his work, the first in Los Angeles in many years, if ever. But even this ten-evening series leaves out many of the over 100 films he made. Many of the films have been brought from France for the series.
Tonight's film is followed by a special panel with three experts each bringing their own approaches to Jean Rouch, his methods and films: Sublime Frequencies member Olivia Wyatt, Anthropologist Nancy Lutkehaus, and Professor Michael Renov.
HORENDI (1972, 16mm, 68 min.)
Co-directed by Gilbert Rouget
Very rarely screened, Horendi treats the relationship between music, ceremony, and dance. HORENDI focuses on what ethnographer Luc de Heusch has called an "endorcism", a ceremony in which Songhai women learn not how to cast off spirits, but how to host them through ritualized dance.
"The title of this film translates literally as 'to put on a hori,' a hori being the Songhay term for ceremony of festival. Here it is used to refer to a ganandi, literally 'to make dance' Thisfilm concerns two women whom the zima [priest] had diagnosed some monthes before as being ill through possession by spirits. In the meantime, their families have gathered together the resources to pay for the musicians, dancers, and the priest himself to put on an initiation dance lasting seven days This is a film of documentation, simply recording various moments in the progress of the ceremony, without any form of explanation, neither in intertitle cards nor in voice-over." Paul Henley, The Adventure of the Real, pp. 383-384.
A seminal figure of both film art and social science, Jean Rouch (1917-2004) represents a fountainhead of many aspects. A filmmaker who came to cinema gradually, Rouch had been a civil engineer in colonial Niger, where his observation of possession rituals formed the basis of his interest in anthropology. Formally trained to gather visual evidence, he evolved radically new approaches to documentary practice in Africa over many decades. Among these, one finds the assumption of scientific neutrality replaced by the possibility of fruitful and revealing stimulations in the acknowledgement of the camera, and the possibility of cinema as participating in and subject to trance states. Such affronts to received Western notions opened still-ongoing debates within anthropological circles. Rouch's interest in the ontology of cinema led to experiments that proved hugely influential in his native France and worldwide, as in his most famous work Chronique d'un Été (1961), co-directed with Edgar Morin, now regarded as a foundation document of cinema verité and a cornerstone of the French New Wave. Rouch's continuing work in post-colonial Africa evolved collaborative filmmaking approaches with colleagues including Damouré Zika and Oumarou Ganda, creating proto-fictional modes only partly distinct from documentary practice, and opening up the distinction of "ethno-fiction." This series samples but a fraction of Rouch's vast cinematic output, and celebrates his unique contributions to human understanding. Shannon Kelley
Presented as part of Farther than Far: The Cinema of Jean Rouch, taking place January 25-February 23 in association with the French Film & TV OfficeConsulate General of France in Los Angeles, UCLA Film & Television Archive, and REDCAT, beginning January 25th at UCLA. Visit http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2013-01-25/farther-far-cinema-jean-rouch and www.redcat.org respectively, for information on these programs.
All films directed by Jean Rouch, unless otherwise noted. All films in French with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.
This series draws inspiration in part from the series "Here and Elsewhere: The Films of Jean Rouch" presented in Fall 2012 at the French Institute Alliance Française and Anthology Film Archives in New York, and curated by Sam Di Iorio and Jamie Berthe.
Special thanks to: Adrien Sarre, Lise de Sablet, Beatrice Arnaud, Delphine Selles-Alvarez--The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States; Centre National du Cinéma et de l'image animée (Paris); Centre national de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris); Comité du film ethnographique (Paris); Institut français; Marie Losier-French Institute Alliance Française (New York); Jed RapfogelAnthology Film Achives; Sam Di IorioHunter College; Jamie BertheNew York University; Ayuko Babu--Pan African Film and Art Festival (Los Angeles); Emilie de Brigard; Shannon Kelley UCLA Film & Television Archive
Nancy Lutkehaus is Professor of Anthropology and Co-Chair of the Center for Visual Anthropology at the University of Southern California. She is also a former editor of the Visual Anthropology Review. She has done extensive fieldwork in Papua New Guinea on issues of gender, political economy, and culture change. She has also produced and directed a short ethnographic film, "Finishing 'Apui's Name" filmed in Papua New Guinea. Her books include a study of Margaret Mead and the media ("Margaret Mead: The Making of an American Icon", Princeton, 2008). She is currently working on a book about anthropology and "Primitive Art."
Michael Renov, Professor of Critical Studies and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, is the author of Hollywood's Wartime Woman: Representation and Ideology and The Subject of Documentary, editor of Theorizing Documentary, and co-editor of Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, Collecting Visible Evidence, The SAGE Handbook of Film Studies and Cinema's Alchemist: The Films of Peter Forgacs. In 1993, Renov co-founded Visible Evidence, a series of international and highly interdisciplinary documentary studies conferences that have, to date, been held on four continents. He is one of three general editors for the Visible Evidence book series at the University of Minnesota Press, which has published 25 volumes on various aspects of nonfiction media since 1997. In 2005, he co-programmed the 51st annual Robert Flaherty Seminar, a week-long gathering of documentary filmmakers, curators and educators, creating 20 screening programs and filmmaker dialogues on the theme "Cinema and History."
Olivia Wyatt is a filmmaker and photographer living in Rockaway Beach, NY. She was a multimedia producer at Magnum Photos from 2005-2010 and is the first female member of the Sublime Frequencies collective. She directed, produced, shot and edited Staring Into the Sun <http://vimeo.com/9468566> (2011), a feature documentary, 136 page Polaroid book, CD and double LP of field recordings about tribal music and culture in Ethiopia released by Sublime Frequencies. Her second feature about two religious pilgrimages in Haiti, The Pierced Heart and The Machete <http://vimeo.com/42460771> (2012), was released by Sublime this fall. Olivia's films have been featured at festivals from True/False in Missouri to Milan, Hamburg, and the Arnhem Mode Biennale. Her writing, photography, and multi-media work has also been published in National Geographic, Spin, Slate, and Elle, among other publications. She is currently preparing to travel to Thailand and Burma and shoot Sea Gypsies in 2013.
Sublime Frequencies is a collective of explorers dedicated to acquiring and exposing obscure sights and sounds from modern and traditional urban and rural frontiers via film and video, field recordings, radio and short wave transmissions, international folk and pop music, sound anomalies, and other forms of human and natural expression not documented sufficiently through all channels of academic research, the modern recording industry, media, or corporate foundations. SUBLIME FREQUENCIES is focused on an aesthetic of extra-geography and soulful experience inspired by music and culture, world travel, research, and the pioneering recording labels of the past including OCORA, SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS, ETHNIC FOLKWAYS, LYRICHORD, NONESUCH EXPLORER, MUSICAPHONE, BARONREITER, UNESCO, PLAYASOUND, MUSICAL ATLAS, CHANT DU MONDE, B.A.M., TANGENT, and TOPIC.
This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Coming soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
Feb 3 - Ann Arbor Film Fest Tour, 16mm program, with Charlotte Pryce in person
Feb 10 - Dirty Looks
Feb 17 - Jean Rouch series returns
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Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian (View)
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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