Home » Videomakers » Julie Gustafson (Page 2)

  • The Pursuit of Happiness

    The Pursuit of Happiness

    A video exploration of the Declaration of Independence’s most ambiguous “self-evident truth” through portraits of six people whose paths intersect at a maximum security prison in Pittsburgh, PA. Molly Rush is a mother of six and a member of the Plowshares Eight who faces jail for damaging nuclear missiles at a GE plant. Rush doesn’t “pursue happiness,” but finds meaning in acting against the threat of total annihilation. Her husband, Bill, an engineer and family man struggles to understand her apocalyptic fears and worries about their children. Molly visits a fellow activist in jail, Warden George Petsock, who opposes breaking the law for any reason. At home, Petsock dreams of retiring and purchasing a mobile home. His wife Ida May ponders the happiness she sacrificed in thirty years of supporting George’s career. Finally, two “lifers,” Ron Grimm, a Vietnam veteran, and Walter Henderson, an African American who works in the prison garden, contemplate the paradox of pursuing happiness while incarcerated and if that right was really meant for everybody.
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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

    Giving Birth

    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. Continue reading

  • The Politics of Intimacy

    The Politics of Intimacy

    In this seminal feminist video, ten women address the camera and seemingly each other in a wide-ranging exploration of such previously taboo subjects as women’s sexuality, power, and fears about intimacy. First-time videomaker, Julie Gustafson, forgoes shame and focuses on the women’s questions about orgasm, masturbation and male “ownership” of sexuality, as well as their joy in exploring their bodies and desire for satisfying sexual lives. The only expert in the tape is Dr. Mary Jane Sherfey, author of “Nature and Evolution of Female Sexuality,” who provides scientific descriptions of women’s orgasms and context for the historical suppression of female sexuality. According to the curators of the 1992 Whitney Museum’s series “From Object to Subject,” “by selecting women who vary in age, color, sexual experience and orientation and by using extreme close ups and a pace resembling real time, Gustafson creates an ideal consciousness raising group (c-r).” Indeed, “Politics of Intimacy” is a valuable document of the synergy between the growing women’s movement and the new video technology and aesthetics of its time. Originally shot in 1/2″ B & W video. Continue reading

  • [Politics of Intimacy: Margit 2]

    [Politics of Intimacy: Margit 2]

    This is raw footage shot for Julie Gustafson’s documentary, “The Politics of Intimacy.” In this seminal feminist video, ten women address the camera and seemingly each other in a wide-ranging exploration of such previously taboo subjects as women’s sexuality, power, and fears about intimacy. This interview is with Julie’s mother, Margit Gustafson. Originally shot in 1/2″ B & W video. Continue reading

  • [Politics of Intimacy: Joanne 1]

    [Politics of Intimacy: Joanne 1]

    This is raw footage shot for Julie Gustafson’s documentary, “The Politics of Intimacy.” In this seminal feminist video, ten women address the camera and seemingly each other in a wide-ranging exploration of such previously taboo subjects as women’s sexuality, power, and fears about intimacy. This interview is with Joanne Bauer. Originally shot in 1/2″ B & W video. Continue reading

 
 
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