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  • Home: A Documentary About Four Families (Part IV)

    Home: A Documentary About Four Families (Part IV)

    The fourth and final sequence of Julie Gustafson and John Reilly’s documentary HOME which portrays a young man who gives up his job to care for his terminally-ill mother in her home. He sums up a mejor theme of the video: “she has never turned her back on anybody, so why should I?” Co-produced by the Television Laboratory of WNET and aired on public television in 1979. Tom Shales of THE WASHINGTON POST wrote, “HOME has immediacy and impact possible with no other medium but television, and an inquisitive compassion that turns cold video images warm and real.” Originally shot in 3/4″ Color and B&W video. See HOME Parts1-3 on Media Burn at https://mediaburn.org/video/home-pt-1-of-2/ Continue reading

  • Home: A Documentary About Four Families (Parts I-III)

    Home: A Documentary About Four Families (Parts I-III)

    Through eloquent portrayals of four different life experiences—birth, aging, marriage, and the death of a parent—HOME explores the changing social dynamic of American families during the 20th century as many life events and roles begin to shift from homes to institutions. The tape opens with the birth of a baby, not in the sterile atmosphere of a hospital, but in a home-like clinic staffed by midwives. The second portrait focuses on a widow growing old in a nursing home, who is disappointed because her adult children have no time or room for her in their homes. The third celebrates the marriage of two divorcees that hope a traditional wedding will fortify their union. The final sequence portrays a young man who gives up his job to care for his terminally-ill mother in her home. He sums up a major theme of HOME: “she has never turned her back on anybody, so why should I?” Co-produced by the Television Laboratory of WNET and aired on public television in 1979. Critic Tom Shales of THE WASHINGTON POST said, “HOME has immediacy and impact possible with no other medium but television, and an inquisitive compassion that turns cold video images warm and real.” Originally shot in ¾” Color and B & W Video. See the final sequence, HOME Part 4 at https://mediaburn.org/video/home-pt-2-of-2/ Continue reading

  • Joe Albert’s Fox Hunt and Other Stories from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey

    Joe Albert’s Fox Hunt and Other Stories from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey

    In JOE ALBERT’S FOX HUNT, documentary team Julie Gustafson and John Reilly experiment with the short story form in a series of vignettes about the people and environmental issues facing the New Jersey Pine Barrens, the last remaining open wilderness between Washington, D.C. and New York City. Once considered a wasteland, the Pine Barrens have become a battleground of conflicting interests between developers, conservationists and longtime inhabitants. Colorful characters include the developer of Crestwood Village, a 6000 unit housing project aimed at urban dwellers seeking a piece of the American Dream; a small town mayor who believes in biblical stewardship of the pristine aquifer that underlies the area; and Joe Albert, a fox hunter and member of the “Pineconers,” a bluegrass group whose music descends from early English settlers. Albert laments, “I never thought it would go. I always thought it would be there. That’s what the Indians felt.” Completed in 1979 and aired in 1980 on public television stations in New York and New Jersey. Anne Wooster of the VILLAGE VOICE said, “Autobiography and politics intermingle in personal tales from the last wilderness in the Eastern Megalopolis…a complex and compelling orchestration of passions.” Continue reading

  • Giving Birth: Four Portraits

    Giving Birth: Four Portraits

    An examination of American birthing traditions focusing on four couples and four different types of childbirth: a standard hospital delivery with high technology and anesthesia, a Leboyer “birth without violence,” a Caesarean section, and a midwife-assisted natural childbirth using the Lamaze method. The first collaboration of husband and wife documentary team Julie Gustafson and John Reilly, GIVING BIRTH illustrates the joys and pains of childbirth in intimate, video vérité portraits. Through interviews with Frederick Leboyer, Elizabeth Bing and Margaret Mead, GIVING BIRTH contextualizes emerging ideas and techniques for birthing. As Mead says, “There are cases when childbirth is surgery, but there is no reason we should take a life process and treat it always like a disease.” One of the first video documentaries produced by WNET’s pioneering TV Laboratory, GIVING BIRTH aired nationally on public television in 1976 to critical acclaim. The Scripps Howard News Service said, “Splendid… absolutely candid…The medical, physical and spiritual points of view explored.” According to John Cashman of Newsday, “Men should see it…Women should see it…Explicit and absolutely real.” Originally shot in ¾” Color and B & W video. Winner of “Best Video Documentary” awards at the Athens Video Festival (1977) and the Chicago International Film Festival (1977). Continue reading

  • Lifestyles: An Experiment in Feedback

    Lifestyles: An Experiment in Feedback

    Two students from a Global Village workshop explore their lives and family’s beliefs about gender roles by using video feedback. One is a New Jersey housewife who hopes to convince her flamboyant and macho husband that she can be more than a wife and mothers; the other is a NYC single mother and writer already forging an independent path. Poignant and often funny, the resulting ‘experiment’ evolves into a striking feminist documentary using the power of new video technology. Continue reading

  • The Irish Tapes

    The Irish Tapes

    THE IRISH TAPES was one of the first major video documentaries produced with 1/2-inch portable equipment. From 1971 to 1973, John Reilly and Stefan Moore shot over one hundred hours of footage in Northern Ireland, profiling one of the most volatile and violent moments in the decades-long conflict from the vantage point of those who lived through and remembered it. Includes rare interviews with members of the Provisional IRA, individuals suffering from unrelenting violence in Belfast and Irish-American perspectives on “The Troubles.” Originally shown as a three-channel, twelve-monitor installation at Global Village. Edited and kinescoped for broadcast by WNET in 1975. Originally shot in 1/2″ B & W video. Permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, 2013, Brooklyn Academy of Music 2014.

    In 2014, curators at the Brooklyn Academy of Music described THE IRISH TAPES as “a striking example o the creative and political potential of the then-new video technology… offering an immediacy, intimacy, and unabashed subjectivity that was then unheard of in broadcast television journalism.” Continue reading

 
 
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