In this 3-part series, filmmaker Kirsten Johnson brings her mix of empathy and irreverence to conversations with leading thinkers and practitioners about caregiving, mortality, and what matters most.
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Kirsten Johnson chats with Dr. Josie Oppenheim in this 3-part series inspired by the newly-released Netflix documentary Dick Johnson is Dead. Josie, both a psychoanalyst and an artist, will discuss her year-long experiment to bring a dream to life rather than analyze it and how this quest interfaces with Kirsten’s film Dick Johnson is Dead.
Using her unique mix of empathy and irreverence, Kirsten will draw out wisdom and surprises from a film-loving neurologist (Dr. Eelco Wijdicks, Nov. 24), a Manhattan psychoanalyst (Dr. Josie Oppenheim, Dec. 1) and an iconic philosopher and integrative medicine pioneer (Deepak Chopra, Dec. 8) in an attempt to understand how we care, live, die, mourn, and remember at this moment in history. Unlike a traditional interview, guests will be asking Kirsten their own questions about the ethics of caregiving, the art of filmmaking, and creative responses to grief and loss. Series co-presenters include Family Caregiver Alliance, Museum of the Moving Image, and Rooftop Films.
Dr. Josie Oppenheim is a psychoanalyst on the research and teaching faculties of the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies (CMPS) in New York City where she is a clinical supervisor and training analyst for students and advanced candidates. She has been a clinical supervisor in the Psychology Department of The New School for Social Research and Mental Health Consultant at Grand Street Settlement’s Early Childhood Programs, providing psychotherapy to Lower East Side families as well as crisis intervention after 9/11. She worked for FEMA in Harlem schools assessing emotional trauma in children from the 9/11 attacks and the crash of the 2001 airbus flight to Dominican Republic. She has been a frequent co-host for the award-winning podcast, New Books In Psychoanalysis and was on the Editorial Board of the International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education (IFPE). Previously trained as an artist, actress and stage director, she was Artistic Director of the Stella Adler Conservatory Theater. Dr. Oppenheim lectures nationally and internationally on psychoanalysis and cultural topics. She has authored numerous papers for professional journals, book chapters and college texts and her papers appear on the syllabi of psychoanalytic training programs. Her paper, “The Analyst Dreams: Joan of Arc Meets Andre Gregory,” describing a year long experiment where the author endeavors to bring a dream to life rather than analyze it, was presented at several psychoanalytic venues as well as the The Harold Clurman Lecture Series in New York City. She is a recipient of the Phyllis W. Meadow Award for Excellence in Psychoanalytic Writing and is a Gradiva Award nominee.
Kirsten Johnson’s previous film, Cameraperson—named to the New York Times' "top 10 films of 2016"—premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Her short The Above premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival and was nominated for the IDA Documentary Award for Best Short. Her camerawork appears in Academy Award winner Citizen Four, Academy Award nominee The Invisible War, and Cannes Film Festival award winner Fahrenheit 9/11.
In the film Dick Johnson is Dead, a cameraperson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilizing moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humor, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all. After its premiere earlier this year at Sundance, the film was awarded a Special Jury Award for Innovation in Nonfiction Filmmaking.