Feb 10, 2022 at 7:30 pm
With Annie Berman & Sarah Enid Hagey
Following this film’s theatrical release last Fall, hailed as a “truly independent film” by LA’s Laemmle Theaters owner Greg Laemmle, a Greg’s List pick, where it screened for three months; and, declared, “My favorite film we’ve screened in my five years as associate programmer at USC School of Cinematic Arts” by Matthew Meier, we are thrilled to bring The Faithful back home to UnionDocs where the film was incubated at our 2017 Editing Retreat, by two UNDO CoLAB alums, Annie Berman (director) and Andre Valentim Almeida (editor).
This special one night screening kicks off our 3-day workshop MEMORY PALACES: EXPERIMENTS IN ESSAY-FILMMAKING where Annie Berman will be joined in conversation with Alan Berliner, Dónal Foreman, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Lynne Sachs & Suneil Sanzgiri to explore the practice of this shape shifting genre.
The Faithful is a poetic essay film that traces our complex relation to the photographic image. Peter Keough called it “Ruminative, haunting and strange” in The Boston Globe, a 20-year exploration of fandom, memorabilia, memory, and legacy within the orbits of three of the biggest cultural icons of our time: Pope John Paul II, Elvis Presley, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Berman will be in attendance for an introduction to this special screening and for a conversation with artist and writer Sarah Enid Hagey who was a contributing editor on the project. We hope to see you here!
Please note: proof of vaccination is required for entry. Masks will be required for the duration of the program.
The Faithful by Annie Berman
90 min., 2021
A Pope John Paul II lollipop. An Elvis Presley shower curtain. A Princess Diana teacup. These are just some of the countless pieces of memorabilia that these pop culture icons’ most devoted fans collect and cherish – but why? The Faithful‘s director, Annie Berman, explores the deep veneration and legacies of the Pope, the Princess, and the King. Over the course of 20 years, Berman profiles these figures’ biggest fans and makes numerous pilgrimages to Vatican City, Graceland, and Kensington Palace. As the years go by, the film itself becomes increasingly entwined with Berman’s daily life and identity, much like how the officially licensed knick-knacks define the fans she filmed.
Annie Berman is a NYC based media artist. Her work has shown internationally including MoMA, Spring/Break Art Show, and the Rome Independent Film Festival where she was awarded Best Experimental Film. She teaches documentary film writing at City College, holds an MFA from Hunter College, and is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.
Sarah Enid Hagey is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn, NY.
Born in the Central Valley of California, her social skills have never fully recovered from her time spent as a homeschool kid.
Her primary window to the adult world was hours spent watching daytime television. Her pre-teen brain was awash with commercials for painkillers, low-rent law office jingles, and Matlock marathons. The exaggerated emotionalism and production value of this era has since informed all of her work. Her affinity for camp and no-budget filmmaking coalesced under the mentorship of George Kuchar during her undergraduate years at the San Francisco Art institute where she received a BFA. She received her MFA from Hunter college in 2011, and has been editing film and video for over 20 years. She’s done other stuff too but finds it tedious and boring to talk about herself in a traditional bio way. Her own work is rooted in parody and performance, seeing melodrama as an essential expression and a beautiful way of performing for the very back of the room.