The decision to form an official Film Archive Project at the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles was made in the Spring of 1975 in the living room of James and Hilde Kirsch. Attending were William Walcott, Ph.D., the President of the Society of Jungian Analysts, George Wagner, the new Executive Director of the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, Suzanne Wagner, Ph.D., a newly certified Jungian analyst, and Sam Francis, a world renowned Abstract Expressionist painter from Santa Monica who was a passionate student of Jungian psychology.
At this meeting Suzanne Wagner proposed to raise funds to travel to the homes and offices of individuals still living who had been close associates of Jung either as students, colleagues, analysands, friends, or family members. The concept was to film a conversation with them on the topic of their experience of Jung. The intention was to capture a personal and grounded perspective of Jung. The people who knew Jung through decades of the development of his work had a special view of this great creative pioneer of Depth Psychology. These rare perceptions would be lost forever if some dedicated efforts were not made to capture all that had been witnessed and experienced as Jung concentrated on the evolution of his work.
Dr. James Kirsch, a founding analyst of the Jung Institute of Southern California and a leading authority in Jungian circles in Los Angeles, was at first not very enthusiastic about this idea. He voiced the opinion that efforts to raise money and actively promote meaningful work centered on Jung’s psychology might better be spent in other ways. After some discussion, he suggested that we throw an I Ching. He ran upstairs to fetch the book and we proceeded to throw the coins, asking the question, “Of what value would such a film project be?” The answer was # 52, Holding Together. Without reading the commentary, James slapped the book down on the table and said, “ O.K., I will change my mind on this; we should go ahead.” Sam Francis quickly said, “I’m in if you allow me to choose the main cameraman.” And so we began.
Shortly after, Bill Walcott left the committee due to a busy schedule. The committee then gained enthusiastic support and wise guidance from Gilda Frantz, wife of founding analyst, Kieffer Frantz, and a passionate student of Jung, and from Rose-Emily Rothenberg, a newly certified analyst. In the first year of work, Tony Morris, who was an assistant to the Administrator at the Institute, acted as Director of the filming aspects of the project. He organized the filming of an interview with Dr. Joe Wheelwright, a founding father of the San Francisco Institute and past President of the International Association of Analytical Psychologists, by Dr. James Yandell of Berkeley at Wheelwright’s home garden in Kentfield, California in the Spring of 1976. Dr.Yandell joined the committee and helped George Wagner persuade the Jung Institute of San Francisco to contribute funding to the project.
The talents of Mark and Michael Whitney, two young film makers from Santa Monica recommended by Sam Francis, were then enlisted. Suzanne acted as Chair of the Project, George as the Executive Producer. Funds were raised to launch the first trip to Zurich to film Liliane Frey, Ph.D., Heinrich Fierz, M.D. and C. A. Meier, M.D in the summer of 1976. Hilde Kirsch helped introduce the idea of the project and the crew to other analysts in Zurich whom we hoped to film in the future.
The raising of funds and filming continued from 1976 to 1980. During those years the same basic crew traveled to Zurich, London, New York, and San Francisco to film 35 different people who had a close connection to Jung. Extra sound and camera experts were hired from time to time for different filming sessions. Sam Francis became a major financial backer and later when film production began, he donated a small house in Santa Monica to serve as a temporary production studio. Sam accompanied the crew and the Wagners on three different trips to Europe and was present at many of the filming sessions in the U.S. as well. Through the years over 600 individuals and groups have contributed in large and small amounts to the funding of this work. Some have chosen to remain anonymous. Others are listed in the credits at the end of the films. Without the generous financial support and volunteer work of many people, these films would not have been made. We are very grateful for all of the contributions made by so many over the years.
MATTER OF HEART
In 1985, after five years of work, reviewing the original footage, and collecting additional film and photo material, a feature length documentary film, MATTER OF HEART, was written and produced. This film was first launched in 35mm format and shown in theaters throughout the United States and in major cities in Canada, England, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, South America, and South Africa. It received much positive critical acclaim and was viewed by thousands of people in theaters, at film festivals, and in small private showings.
In 1987, the U.S. Consul General to Switzerland, John Segesvary, held a party at his embassy home in Zurich and invited Jungians and friends to celebrate the success of this film. Franz Jung, Jung’s son, attended this showing and gave his approval for the way the film portrayed, in a sensitive and truthful manner, Jung’s relationship with Toni Wolff , his relationship to his wife Emma, and his family as well. Sir Laurens van der Post, who had been filmed in London, also attended this event and gave his blessings for the project.
ORIGINAL FILM SCORE BY JOHN ADAMS
A young composer who was serving as Composer in Residence for the San Francisco Symphony, John Adams, was given a commission by the Film Archive Committee to compose an original score for MATTER OF HEART. Since then, John Adams, in subsequent years, has produced many stunning classical works that have earned him world recognition as one of the finest living composers. In addition to many works for small ensembles and full symphonies, he has written several operas, Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, Dr. Atomic, and A Flowering Tree. After the 9/11disaster he was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and the Lincoln Center to compose a piece to mark the tragic event. He produced a choral work, On the Transmigration of Souls, for which he was later awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
MATTER OF HEART has been successful as a feature film, video, and now DVD. It is distributed by KINO International of New York and for a period of twelve years was the most successful documentary film distributed by this firm. It can now be purchased on new DVD format with extra footage of Jung, filmed in an interview by John Freeman for BBC. In addition there is wonderful color footage of Jung at his Bollingen tower, retelling how he came to carve a stone to celebrate his 75th birthday.
THE WORLD WITHIN
In 1988, a second film was produced in the production studio of Tee Busustow, a former editor for NBC, working independently in Santa Monica. This film, THE WORLD WITHIN, was produced in a 60 minute, 16mm film format. It is a lively introduction to Jung’s views on the reality of the psyche, the benefits that result when consciousness is raised by attending to dreams and to the flow of imagination. Jung himself is shown in interviews taken earlier in his life commenting on various aspects of the inner world. Rare film footage of images from Jung’s Redbook and of Jung carving stone at his Bollingen retreat are included. Extras on this DVD format are small excerpts of interviews filmed of Gerhard Adler, Ph.D., a Jungian analyst from London who was co-editor of the Collected Works of Jung in English, of Liliane Frey, Ph.D. a Jungian Analyst and author from Zurich, and statesman and author, Laurens van der Post ofLondon.
The next phase of production extended through the years 1986 to 2009. During these years a series of most of the original interviews filmed were reproduced in video format called the REMEMBERING JUNG series. There are three separate, hour length interviews of Dr. Marie Louise von Franz of Zurich, Switzerland, and three separate hour length interviews of Dr. Joseph Henderson of San Francisco. The last two of Henderson were filmed in the year of his 100th birthday. One of the most popular programs in the series is the interview of Sir Laurens van der Post, the renowned statesman and author who was a close friend of Jung. The technical producer for this series was Tee Busustow of Busustow Media Group. Suzanne Wagner served as Director and Editor of this series.
On the DVD cover of each interview is a list of all of the interviews produced thus far. Taken altogether this series offers a wealth of insights and stories illustrating the depth of Jung’s discoveries and their significance in our lives, individually and collectively. The REMEMBERING JUNG series presents a warm hearted, candid, and intimate view of Jung’s prodigious creativity and humanity. The complete series is now in DVD format and is available for sale through the C. G. Jung Institute Bookstore. Read interviews
UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE
In 2006, the Film Archive Project made the decision to contract with the UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE to store, maintain, and preserve all of the original film and sound tracks which are the source material for the films produced. The people at the UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE are very enthusiastic about receiving this rare material. They fully recognize its cultural and historical significance. This facility is a world class film preservation facility staffed by trained professionals interested in the storage and preservation of valuable material on film. New, state-of-the-art storage vaults are being constructed by UCLA which will enable much of the material produced by the Jung Institute Film Archive Project will be viewable through online computers at research libraries throughout the world. The material will not be downloadable but will be available for viewing for interested students and scholars.
The Film Archive Committee is pleased to have found the perfect home for such a precious resource. The C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles remains the owner and distributor of all of the films produced by the Film Archive Committee.