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Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project

3.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Celebrated photographer Tierney Gearon s work has been labeled manipulative, disturbing and even perverse. A former model and dancer, Gearon came to notorious fame in 2001 when photos of her own naked and masked children in the I Am a Camera show at London s Saatchi Gallery had authorities threatening child pornography charges.

Filmmakers Peter Sutherland (Pedal) and Jack Youngelson (Producer, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib) follow this exceptional artist over the course of two years as she assembles her most daring and emotionally complex body of work to date: a series on her manic-depressive schizophrenic mother, who resides in Grey Gardens squalor in the frozen suburbs of upstate New York. The mixture of art and family can almost be too close for comfort, but like much of Gearon s photographs there is a subversive beauty that emerges from the incongruity between ordinary moments and madness. Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project is a moving and intricate portrait of an artist, her inspirations and unconventional family relationships.


Features: Over 20 minutes of deleted scenes, including footage from The Mother Project's New York gallery opening; Home movies, including rare Super-8 footage; Selected Tierney Gearon photos from The Mother Project series; Trailer; Filmmakers' statement

Review

One of the most remarkable and layered explorations of family relationships, insanity and the motivations of memoristic artists ever to have been made. --San Francisco Chronicle

In Gearon s photos we re witnessing a mother-daughter bonding ritual that would seem terribly reckless were it not so heartbreaking and hilarious. --The New Yorker

Special Features

  • Over 20 minutres of deleted scenes
  • Home movies and Super-8 footage
  • Selected Tierney Gearon photos from the "Mother Project" series
  • Statements form Tierney Gearon and the filmmakers

Product Details

  • Actors: Tierney Gearon
  • Directors: Peter Sutherland, Jack Youngelson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QFCDB8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,693 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Hmm. Was the reviewer who wants to put Tierney Gearon in jail really so shocked and appalled by this film? He seems to have still had the "nerve" to watch the whole thing. His puritanical view is really more shocking than anything you'll see in the film. The movie is a sensitive portrayal of a photographer mining the precarious terrain of her own life and her own family--brave and unsentimental art that is captured without judgement by the unobtrusive filmmakers. A brilliant and enlightening documentary on one person's life and creative process.
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Format: DVD
Huh?

How could this last "reviewer" be so linear in his or her thinking? I thought it was a challenging, thought and emotion-provoking but beautiful film! Families come in all shapes and sizes and have all kinds of problems and this family while appearing unique, yes, is also a family that knows an incredible amount of love and acceptance of each other. These children are clearly raised by artists...and there is no such thing as a perfect artist (especially in a parent!) nor is there such a thing as a perfect parent, artist or not. Her children will have good stories to share when they grow up and they will most likely be free thinkers and movers and shakers. At the very least, I am fairly certain they will not say they weren't loved and I know they won't feel they'd been abused in any way. I applaud Tierney's ability to show off her body (same goes with her mother) and show her children that there is nothing wrong with the naked human body. There is nothing sexual going on but on the contrary, it is unusually wholesome -- and by "unusually" I simply mean by our culture's standards. Good for you Tierney. She shared her personal story with all its colors of beauty and love and dysfunction and she brought tears to my eyes (in the wee hours of the morning the other night when I couldn't sleep and stumbled across this film) because the "nakedness" of her story -- the honesty -- was very refreshing.
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So strange, but honest, in terms of being mothered by someone with mental illness. Tierney obviously has dealt with some difficulties related to her mother's illness and decreased ability to parent, but it seems that Tierney also struggles with some mental illness of her own? Both mothers seem to love their children, but not in that selfless, protective, and mature way that provides children with a boost toward a happy, well-adjusted life. They love their children because the children support the mothers' own emotional/psychological needs. I do not agree with Tierney's name calling and hitting of her children when they disrupt her photo shooting by fighting with each other. Did anyone else hear the echoes of her mother's berating accusations as Tierney hit her children and called them "disgusting" after a childhood spat? (Then, she neglected to give comfort to her crying son, but rather rushed to photograph his tears without so much as a caress?) This is not art, but a voyeuristic look into dysfunctional family relationships and the odd behaviors of mental illness. I have no problem with the naked human body, but the appropriateness of Tierney's naked photography of children and naked adults with children shows lack of judgment in preserving of the rights of these children. They are used as props in her pictures without regard to their feelings about participating. Tierney's work gets recognition, not because it is good art, but because it is controversial and sensational. Disrespect of children is not art. Just because they are her children, she does not have the right to make them do whatever she directs in order to satisfy her desires for self expression. I agree with Tierney's father. This is damaging to the children.
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By cpapa30 on September 1, 2015
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I must say, I loved the journey she took us on with both her photos and video footage. The still photos were just lovely.and the nudity didn't bother me at all. Ridiculous to even be in the same sentence as child pornography!

What I did find disturbing was that I felt she used her children as human props. I don't even recall her ever using her youngest child's name. He was always referred to as, "the baby." Put "the baby," here or move "the baby," there. Two scenes in particular bothered me. The first was when she placed the child in the grass directly facing the sun and left him like that until she was satisfied that she had gotten her shot. The second was when she was reviewing photos with her mother as "the baby" was behind her without so much as a glance. I'm seemed as though the only time this child was cuddled or nurtured was in the arms of his grandmother or older sister.

I would be interested to see a follow up.with her now older children. Curious as to their own personal
thoughts and perspectives regarding their experience.
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This shows a daughter that has a career as a photographer disrespecting her mother. Her mother she states to everyone has a mental illness, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The mother may or may not be medicated. She acts like her mother's mental illness is a joke and her mother's behavior is the butt of her jokes. She drops over to her moms house in the dead of winter and gives her little notice. The mother is upset because her home is a "mess" and it is. Her home is obviously in a state of neglect probably mostly due to poor finances. The mother seems somewhat frail and angry at her daughter for popping in and expecting her to go out in the cold in precarious positions. The daughter is using her mother to make money on a film and thinks it is amusing. The mother does not. It is candid and dysfunctional. I did not want to watch the whole thing. The daughter is somewhat psychologically abusive of the mother in her disrespectful manner of taking candid photos and expecting a frail mother to go in the cold causing her emotional stress.
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