A pathbreaking docudrama with script and sound by Glenn Gould, produced by PBS and the CBC. Unavailable since its repeat broadcasts on PBS, Producer/Director Judith Pearlman has presented it by invitation at select venues, including the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal, and at the Cinematheque of Ontario (TIFF) in Toronto, both in 2008.

WASHINGTON POST (January 22, 1995)

Music videos are thought of as an '80's art form, but as early as 1970, Pianist Glenn Gould and independent producer-director Judith Pearlman collaborated on The Idea of North, a montage of words, music and images that some consider the first real example of music television. Boldly experimental in both form and content, it was also the first co-production by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and PBS, but hasn't been broadcast or exhibited since its debut.

(December, 1970)

..there's a new facet of Gould's personality on view: his love of his native Canada, particularly its wild and nearly uninhabited regions (where he himself has a cabin). He has put this into a one-hour television program called The Idea of North, for which he has written the script and created a kind of contrapuntal tone poem out of the words of people who share his feelings about those rugged areas.

(August, 1970)

The Idea of North is a trailblazer in many ways. It gives a picture of the isolation and beauty to be found in the Canadian north, and deals with the people who move there to work.

Gould, with ingenious and clever TV personnel, notably producer Judith Pearlman, manages to create a clear storyline and montages of overlapping multi-track voices and film. Entertainment and educational values are high. No question about it. This program is revolutionary and employs techniques which should be further explored. It is quality TV at its very best.

  (December, 1970)

Tonight, public TV offers another striking show, a fascinating experimental edition of PBS' Realities from Canada. It's called The Idea of North. This is a real meeting of documentary and "creative" television subtle, diverting, with waggish camera shots playing against some of the commentary. And it exposes a dimension of North America seldom thought about.