Is There a Difference Between a Sociological and an Anthropological Approach to Cinema?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:10 PM
Room: 313+314
Oral Presentation
Paulo MENEZES , Sociology, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
This communication deals with the special construction of reality made by films which acquire significant epistemological interest when we are dealing with documental cinema, where the confusion and the merge between the reality of images and the exterior “reality” that the camera faces are more fragrant and undeniable, based on the theoretical assumptions made by Foucault in What is an author? and by Pierre Sorlin in Sociologie du Cinéma.

it discusses the documental cinema by analyzing their relationships with the social knowledge possibilities they offer and the access to knowledge of the social reality they allude. This analysis criticizes the positivist foundations that organizes the documental films and the positivist watch that audience gives to them, fundamental for the misperception of a film as the “real” itself and not a construction about it, inquiring the epistemological potentialities of the kind of information those images suggest. So, if we can think that these films bring information about what is shown by its images and sounds, we can also think that they bring more information about the values, evaluations and hierarchies that institute the filmic narrative made by the film maker. 

Finally, I interpret the film Les Maîtres Fous, by Jean Rouch, as a Discourse and not as a film of his Director. This option force the analyst to catch an epistemological detour where the film is no longer seen as evidence of their stories but inquired in the fundamental concepts of its filmic narrative, dialectic units of form and content. The analysis point out the principles and elements imbricated in the options assumed by the director in order to constitute a filmic narrative discourse that should be seen as a general and natural truth about the “other” (a ritual) and not a discourse that alludes something else (the French colonial heritage).