Image Union Presents Alternatives…

This video contains a segment edit for "Five Day Bicycle Race," a project comprised of live in-studio commentary and taped edited coverage of the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City. Produced by independent videomakers calling themselves The Image Union (including many members of TVTV and Videofreex), it aired on Manhattan Cable for three hours per night for five days during the convention. The segment features some of the happenings on the streets outside Madison Square Garden. The piece is followed by raw footage of the videomakers speaking with various politicians about Jimmy Carter and his nomination for the presidency.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with a blue screen.

00:29Copy video clip URL Fade into footage from outside of Madison Square Garden. A group of hippy pranksters, including David Peel, perform a song about marijuana and hold a sign reading “Coke Fiends For Carter.” Peel gets rather excited when humorist Marshall Efron stops near the group.

01:39Copy video clip URL Cut to the intro for the program. We watch an Uncle Sam impersonator as he dances outside of the DNC.

02:37Copy video clip URL We watch as a person buys a “Nobody For President” bumper sticker from Peace Activist Wavy Gravy. Marshall Efron stands next to Gravy as he sells stickers and buttons. We then watch as the Carter cavalcade rides by on horse and carriage during a parade.

04:08Copy video clip URL Cut to a poster of Jimmy Carter doctored to make him look like Jesus Christ. The caption at the bottom of the poster reads, “J.C. CAN SAVE AMERICA!” We then see a shot of comedian Pat Paulsen singing a few autographs. Shortly afterward, we watch as Mr. Peanut sells peanuts to the convention attendees.

04:52Copy video clip URL The videomakers interview a People’s Party representative about their platform and newspaper.

05:47Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of Peel’s group performing outside the convention. The credits roll and are followed by a break in the footage.

06:37Copy video clip URL Videomaker Skip Blumberg tests out his equipment before going out into the field.

07:00Copy video clip URL Blumberg travels to a Jimmy Carter press conference. After arriving at the hotel where Carter plans to make an address, Blumberg and the camera operator make their way into the conference hall. We watch as a large group of press members listen and report on Carter’s address. This lasts for several minutes.

10:36Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of Rosalynn Carter speaking with two women. Blumberg approaches Carter and asks her about her newest campaign button. She pleasantly responds to Blumberg while continuing to speak with those around her. Blumberg asks her whether all of the press coverage is imposing on her. She states that she has gotten used to all of the cameras, but that it was a very gradual process. Blumberg then asks her about the most important thing she hopes for in a Carter administration. “Well I’ve seen Jimmy reorganize the state government in Georgia, and I know how people are very skeptical about whether or not he can do it in the federal government, and so I want them to see that he can do the things that he thinks he can do and that it is not impossible to make changes in the federal government.” When asked whether it is possible to be a First Lady without being involved in politics, Rosalynn Carter states that she doesn’t know how one could possibly separate the two. “I’ve been involved with Jimmy for so long and I think about all kinds of political considerations in fact, I was the one that kept saying, thinking about the political considerations when Jimmy was trying to choose, decide on the Vice President.” Blumberg then asks her if she can arrange for an interview with Jimmy Carter. She says that she doesn’t know and quickly moves on to speak with another reporter.

15:00Copy video clip URL Fade into a shot of vice presidential nominee Walter Mondale and his wife greeting Rosalynn Carter after the press conference. The videomakers continue to gather footage from the chaotic scene. This lasts for several minutes.

17:53Copy video clip URL We watch as Jimmy Carter makes his way out of the hotel. Carter’s Secret Service keep the press members at bay while Carter and his associates briskly walk out of the building.

18:45Copy video clip URL Blumberg briefly interviews Chevy Chase. Chase jokes about the convention and calls it a “tremendous celebratory bore.” He also says that Carter is “very ingenuous and supple.” Chase then tries to close with a funny line about the program, but can’t think of anything good to say.

20:30Copy video clip URL The videomakers gather footage from inside the Statler Hilton Hotel. Various politicians arrive to attend a Democratic fundraising dinner. A number of high profile politicians make their way into the ballroom where the dinner will be held. House Representative Bella Abzug briefly stops to speak with Blumberg about her work in the U.S. House of Representatives. We also briefly see Herbert Humphrey turn down a person looking for an autograph.

23:08Copy video clip URL Cut to footage from the fundraising banquet. A slew of high profile politicians sit next to one another along a large table in the front of the ballroom. Amidst the clinking and clattering of dinner plates and silverware, DNC Chairman Bob Strauss announces that he will be chairman of Jimmy Carter’s campaign. Blumberg comments on the event being rather dull. The camera operator gathers footage of the many waiters clearing plates during the event.

27:06Copy video clip URL After finishing his address, Strauss steps down from the podium. Blumberg sees this and jumps at the opportunity to ask Strauss a few questions about the Carter campaign. After asking Strauss if he knows anything about Carter’s plans for reorganization, Strauss remains very tight lipped and says that he doesn’t know.

27:22Copy video clip URL We watch as Strauss gets interviewed by a group of young journalists. Shortly afterward, Herbert Humphrey makes his way out of the dinner. Blumberg poses the same question he had posed to Strauss and is given no answer.

28:48Copy video clip URL Blumberg interviews Gilbert Giles of Childrens Express Magazine. Giles has been hard at work all day interviewing various politicians about the Carter campaign and DNC.

29:32Copy video clip URL Blumberg asks Speaker of the House Carl Albert about Carter’s plans for reorganization. Albert gives an adequate answer about the issue. He states that Carter will implement a measure to create new public work service jobs across the country. Blumberg also speaks with Senate Majority Whip Robert Byrd about Carter’s platform. Byrd states that he is completely unaware of any of Carter’s plans for the reorganization of government.

30:52Copy video clip URL Blumberg asks House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill the same question. O’Neill responds by saying that a complete restructuring of government cannot take place overnight, but that Carter could potentially reorganize the government within a year.

31:28Copy video clip URL The videomakers continue to gather footage from around the event. They slowly try to make their way out of the hotel and back to the studio where they will compile the content for the show.

32:05Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of two newspapers with headlines for Carter and Mondale. We then see footage of the opening prayer from the fundraiser dinner. The room is silent as a priest says a few words before the event takes place.

32:52Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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