What do Elvis Presley, Diana, Princess of Wales and Pope John Paul II have in common? It sounds like the start of a bad joke but it’s actually the premise of Annie Berman’s documentary, The Faithful: The King, The Pope and The Princess. Berman looks at the notion of ‘fandom’, and how it can sometimes border on obsession, when it comes to celebrating the works of and reminiscing about major cultural figures.
– – We all have a particular actor or singer or cultural figure that we have a crush on; admire; want to hang out with. Berman’s documentary showcases more extreme examples of this – people who have turned their homes into veritable shrines – without comment. She’s not here to mock or deride those who have found some sort of solace or connection in their beloved figure of choice.
Mary Muñoz, JumpCut Online
It all started in 2000, with a Pope Pop, a lollipop filmmaker Annie Berman saw at a hotdog stand in Vatican City. That got Berman filming her first tape of hundreds that ultimately became The Faithful: The King, The Pope, The Princess. The film is a look at worship, consumerism, and media representation through Elvis Presley, Pope John Paul II, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Over the next 15 years, Berman made hundreds of video tapes of Graceland, Elvis vigils, and collector homes, of Kensington Palace, Diana vigils, and fan interviews, and of Vatican City interviews with the faithful and memorabilia sellers, and pope fan collections.
Leslie Combemale, AWFJ
The director Annie Berman is present in the screenings on Thu, Feb 2 and Fri, Feb 3.