DER Documentary

Screening Room with Jean Rouch

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From the Screening Room series
by Robert Gardner
color, 64 min, 1980

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Jean Rouch appeared on Screening Room in July 1980 and screened Les Maitres Fous as well as several film excerpts including Rhythm of Work and Death of a Priest. Over a period of five decades Jean Rouch made many films about the Songhay and Dogon of West Africa. He also made, with Edgar Morin, the classic documentary, Chronicle of a Summer about the lives of Parisians. Rouch Frequently traveled with his films, showing and talking about them to a wide audience.

Regarded as one of the fathers of "Direct Cinema" and considered one of the most influential documentary makers of the twentieth century, his films are very difficult to find, particularly in North America. Since his tragic death in Africa in 2004, DER has honored his work with a Tribute Site and carries four films about Rouch and his work: Jean Rouch and His Camera in the Heart of Africa, Rouch's Gang, Conversations With Jean Rouch, and this DVD from Screening Room.

"Fusing poetry and science, Jean Rouch showed us the wise path of the ancestors and guided us into a wondrous world where we not only encountered others, but also encountered ourselves." — Paul Stoller, The Cinematic Griot: The Ethnography of Jean Rouch

About the Screening Room series
In the early 1970s a group of idealistic artists, lawyers, doctors and teachers saw an opportunity to change commercial television in Boston and the surrounding area. It would require years of litigation up to and including the Supreme Court, but the case was won and the Channel 5 license was given to WCVB-TV. Screening Room was one of several programs offered in an effort to provide alternative television viewing. The idea behind Screening Room was to give independent filmmakers an opportunity to discuss their work and show it to a large urban audience. Nearly 100 ninety-minute programs were produced and aired between 1973 and 1980.

Screening Room was developed and hosted by filmmaker Robert Gardner, who at the time, was Director of Harvard's Visual Arts Center and Chairman of its Visual and Environmental Studies Department. His own films include Dead Birds (1964), and Forest of Bliss (1986).

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, New York, 2004
Miami International Film Festival, Florida, 2004
freiburger film forum, Germany, 2005
10th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, London, 2005
19th Pärnu International Film Festival, Estonia, 2005
10th Mostra Internacional do Filme Etnografico, Brazil, 2005
Amakula Kampala International Film Festival, Uganda, 2006

This DVD is also available as part of the Screening Room series' Documentary Collection.

Other films from the Screening Room series
Bruce Baillie
Les Blank
Robert Breer
James Broughton
Emile de Antonio
Ed Emshwiller
Hollis Frampton
Robert Fulton
George Griffin
Hillary Harris
John & Faith Hubley
Peter Hutton
Derek Lamb
Standish Lawder & Stanley Cavell
Ricky Leacock
Caroline Leaf & Mary Beams
Jan Lenica
Alan Lomax
Jonas Mekas
Suzan Pitt
Yvonne Rainer
Richard P. Rogers
Michael Snow
John Whitney Sr.

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts