Reel World: An Anthropology of Creation
Anand Pandian teaches anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. His books include Crooked Stalks: Cultivating Virtue in South India, also published by Duke University Press.
Walter Murch is an Academy Award–winning film editor and sound designer, and the author of In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing.
This introductory chapter puts forward the project of examining experience in a phenomenal world understood and imagined as cinematic by nature. The chapter introduces fieldwork in the midst of filmic production as a means of engaging this subject, as well as the empirical context of Tamil commercial cinema. The chapter also situates the book’s experiments with narrative voice and style in relation to the long-standing mutual proximity of ethnography, fiction, and cinema as genres of expression and concludes with a discussion of the ecology of images in the Anthropocene.