Dissertation > Art > Movies, TV Arts > Film,television, art theory > Television and movies, reviews, appreciate

Expressions of the Anthropological Field Through the Art of Video Production

Author HouXiaoQin
Tutor TianMin
School Central South University for Nationalities
Course Ethnology
Keywords Visual Anthropology field work Ethnographic text Theory of dialogue
CLC J905
Type PhD thesis
Year 2012
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Since the birth of films at the end of19th century, video products have been usedto record a variety of cultures and behaviors. Literal field ethnography has been wellknown in the anthropology. By contrast, the film field ethnography is being marginal allthe time. As more and more understandings to the regulations of the film languages,anthropologists can perform the academic creation in film languages with higherproficiency. As a result, the film anthropology is being more developed. The topic ofthis dissertation focuses on the theoretical investigation and practice in the process ofthe development of film anthropology.The author of this dissertation has produced an anthropological film “The Winterof Shennong Stream” in the field observation discussing the film expression ofanthropological field through the practice of making films. This dissertation discussesthe film expression of the anthropology in five chapters. The introductory chapterdiscusses why this title is selected, the significance of the topic, the current researchingsituation of the relevant issues, the main content and creative details, the theories andmethods applied by the author. The second chapter discusses the implication of theanthropological field work and the film expression. The third chapter elaborates thefundamental of the anthropological field film expression in respect of anthropology andarts of movie and television. The fourth chapter expounds the method of the filmproduction in the anthropological film making process of “The Winter of ShennongStream”. The fifth chapter discusses the criticism to the anthropological filmscombining the film propagation and dialogue. It is concluded that the playing of theanthropological films, the feedbacks from the audiences of the films and the filmmakers’ introspection should be an important aspect of the anthropological field filmexpression which should be analysed as a part of anthropological culture research.It is considered in this dissertation that the film expressions of the anthropologyfield is not only the film makinge of anthropoloyg films. The author divides the filmexpressions of anthropology field into three levels from the angle of the film communications: the construction of the film texts (the production of anthropologyfilm), the communications and feedbacks of the film texts and the film makers’introspections. When the texts have been transferred to the audients, the film makersthen receive the feedbacks from the audients,new concepts could be created after theself-reflection. The whole process can be called a complete process of film expressionof anthropological field. Only this complete process of presentation can diffuse theanthropological knowledges, deepen the intercultural understandings in thecommunications of the anthropological films and facilitates the creation of the newconcepts.This dissertation uses the dialogue theory, a theory newly applied in the humanitiesespecially the communication, to introspect the theory limitations of culture relativism.The culture relativism leans to understand and appreciate different cultures and negatesthe existence of truth in which the view of "existence in possible" would cause thedeficiency of morality in the culture. On the contrary, the dialogue theory affirms theexistence of truth and proposes to “investigate the truth in the hubbub” which means toseek the truth in the active arguments among varieties of viewpoints. It is pointed out inthis dissertation that the dialogue theory should be applied to guide the field work andthe production and communication of the documentary films. The dialogue theory canalso explain Fei HsiaoTung’s concept of "the anthropology marching toward the people"which emphasizes that "anthropology", a subject of studying human beings, should havehumanities except the scientific principles.In a word, the concepts which the dialogue theory proposes should be appliedthroughout the whole process of the field expressions of the anthropological field. Theanthropological field work needs dialogue and the investigators need to talk to theobjects of study abandoning the so called impersonality and calm and present theperceptual processing of field knowledges which should be introspected consequently.The film expressions of anthropological field need dialogue, which will challenge andeffect the long-term simplex and linear models of anthropological film expressions. The communications of the anthropological films need dialogue which would promote toopen the relatively closed door of the visual anthropology. The applications of the visualanthropology need dialogue which promotes the the value involvement in the studyprocess that the anthropological knowledges come back to the public and serve humanfor peace and prosperity.

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