Kino-Ikon, a journal for the sciences of motion picture and cinema – is published twice a year but it is quickly becoming a representative platform of original authorial texts and translated studies dealing with contemporary thought on film. It creates a space for more detailed reflection on transformations and developments of the global and national audiovisual culture. Each year, Febiofest IFCF cooperates with the Kino-Ikon editorial board in order to introduce a special section of extraordinary films from the history of cinema, presented by representatives of Kino-Ikon. This time, it is focused on the unique work of the French filmmaker Jean Rouch.
Jean Rouch (1917 – 2004)
Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jean Rouch, a director, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor and anthropologist. He was an extraordinary personality not just in terms of the range of his activities, but also in terms of his talent apparent predominantly in connection with the so-called visual anthropology, which he co-founded. He received a civil engineering degree, which led him to Africa, where he overlooked road construction in the French colonies. It was there that he went through the initiating experiences which lead to his heightened interest in Africa. His films were ethnographic observations of rituals and customs shot mainly in the Western part of the continent. When handling the subject matter, he would always invert or change the usual approaches and create new connections between the themes at hand. He left behind the strictly scientific rendition in favor of a poetic or a strictly personal one. He ignored any categories of live-action and documentary cinema, thus opening a passage towards new forms and piquing the interest of some of the French New Wave directors. It is no easy feat to grasp his work, as he created over 40 films of all lengths and natures, some unfinished. The underlying theme in all his films, however, must without a doubt be otherness – in all positions and meanings connected to humanity.