Catalogue


Documenting ourselves : film, video, and culture /
Sharon R. Sherman.
imprint
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c1998.
description
xvi, 320 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0813109345 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c1998.
isbn
0813109345 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
1813418
 
Filmography: p. [277]-283.
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-06:
Writing with the triple authority of filmmaker, folklorist, and scholar, Sherman (Univ. of Oregon) provides a brilliant study of a new documentary genre. "Folkloric film" records and explores a traditional expressive or symbolic behavior of a culture. The author analyzes a wide range of fascinating (and unavailable) films about such subjects as salamander-eating, garlic, children playing games, sorghum molasses, and rituals remote and domestic, rural and urban to prove that documentary film and video has changed "from a mere fieldwork tool to a means of representing and revealing the self." She begins with an intelligent survey of the documentary tradition and theories of folklore study. She then establishes discrete types of folkloric film: the event film; artists and performers; reflexive or negotiated films. Drawing on extensive interviews with filmmakers, she reports their various ways of choosing their subject, training for their work, developing collaborations, and finding themselves through others. Two chapters explore film technique and structure. This book has three effects on the reader: one craves seeing the films she discusses; one finds it impossible to teach a documentary film course again without a representation of folkloric film; and one feels more optimistic about technology. Sherman predicts that the emerging folkloric film, facilitated by the new, instant feedback video, will "change our perception of ourselves and the Other to a perception of 'all of us.'" That would be good. All collections. M. Yacowar; University of Calgary
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Sherman's fine book traces the documentary tradition and is a major contribution to our appreciation of how film and video deepens our understanding of the human experience.-- Bill Ferris, Director, Center for the Study of Southern Culture" -- Bill Ferris, Director, Center for the Study of Southern Culture
"Throughout the book there are thoughtful, insightful observations about the epistemological, social, and moral dimensions of making films about culture, and it is worth reading for those and for the interviews." -- Western Folklore
"Throughout the book there are thoughtful, insightful observations about the epistemological, social, and moral dimensions of making films about culture, and it is worth reading for those and for the interviews.-- Western Folklore" -- Western Folklore
"A vision of modern folklore studies on film which is collaborative, engaged and which celebrates the local, even as it documents and participates." -- Times Literary Supplement
"A vision of modern folklore studies on film which is collaborative, engaged and which celebrates the local, even as it documents and participates.-- Times Literary Supplement" -- Times Literary Supplement
"Sherman's fine book traces the documentary tradition and is a major contribution to our appreciation of how film and video deepens our understanding of the human experience." -- Bill Ferris, Director, Center for the Study of Southern Culture
"A brilliant study of a new documentary genre.... This book has three effects on the reader: one craves seeing the films she discusses; one finds it impossible to teach a documentary film course again without a representation of folkloric film; and one feels more optimistic about technology.-- Choice" -- Choice
"A brilliant study of a new documentary genre.... This book has three effects on the reader: one craves seeing the films she discusses; one finds it impossible to teach a documentary film course again without a representation of folkloric film; and one feels more optimistic about technology." -- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1998
Reference & Research Book News, November 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
What happens when we turn the camera on ourselves? This question has long plagued documentary filmmakers concerned with issues of reflexivity, subject participation, and self-consciousness. Documenting Ourselves includes interviews with filmmakers Les Blank, Pat Ferrero, Jorge Preloran, Bill Ferris, and others, who discuss the ways their own productions and subjects have influenced them.But Sharon Sherman does not limit herself to the problems faced by filmmakers today. She examines the history of documentary films, tracing them from their origins as a means of capturing human motion through the emergence of various film styles. She also discusses current theories and techniques of folklore and fieldwork, concluding that advances in video technology have made the camcorder an essential tool that has the potential to redefine the nature of the documentary itself.
Main Description
" What happens when we turn the camera on ourselves? This question has long plagued documentary filmmakers concerned with issues of reflexivity, subject participation, and self-consciousness. Documenting Ourselves includes interviews with filmmakers Les Blank, Pat Ferrero, Jorge Preloran, Bill Ferris, and others, who discuss the ways their own productions and subjects have influenced them. Sharon Sherman examines the history of documentary filsm and discusses current theiroeis and techniques of folklore and fieldwork.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Foreword
Preface
Folklore, Film, and Video: In the Beginningp. 1
The Folkloric Film: Definition and Methodology, Texts and Contextsp. 61
Documentation: Interactional Events and Individual Portraitsp. 125
A Search for Self: Filmmakers Reflect on Their Workp. 167
Projecting the Self: Filmic Technique and Constructionp. 207
Structure Shifts and Style: A Montage of Voices and Imagesp. 223
Visions of Ourselvesp. 257
Filmographyp. 277
Notesp. 285
Referencesp. 295
Indexp. 307
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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