Lucien Castaing-Taylor (born 1966, Liverpool, United Kingdom) is an anthropologist and artist who works in film, video, and photography.
Castaing-Taylor received his B.A. at The University of Southern California and his Ph.D. at The University of California, Berkeley. Since 2002 Castaing-Taylor has taught at Harvard University, where he is Director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab. His works include In and Out of Africa, which he made with Ilisa Barbash in 1992. It is an ethnographic video about issues of authenticity, taste, and racial politics in the African art market that won eight international awards. He also recorded the film Sweetgrass (2009), which is described as "an unsentimental elegy at once to the American West and to the 10,000 years of uneasy accommodation between post-Paleolithic humans and animals." He is the founding editor of the American Anthropological Association’s journal Visual Anthropology Review (1991–94).
In and Out of Africa (1992)
Made in USA (1997)
The High Trail (2010)
Leviathan (Orig.) / 2012 / United States / 87 min
In the very waters where Melville’s pequod gave chase to Moby Dick, Leviathan captures the collaborative clash of man, nature, and machine. Shot on a dozen cameras — tossed and tethered, passed from fisherman to filmmaker — it is a cosmic portrait of one of mankind’s oldest endeavors.
Sweetgrass (Orig.) / 2009 / United States / 103 min
Sweetgrass is a 2009 documentary film that follows modern-day shepherds as they lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana's Absaroka-Beartooth mountains for summer pasture. It was directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor, a Harvard anthropologist, and produced by his wife Ilisa Barbash. The title derives from Sweet Grass County, one of several in which the film was shot.