Films and Picnic on the Farm, August 28

22 08 2021

TIME

5:30 pm: Potluck Barbecue

7-ish: Film screenings

PLACE

Tree Frog Farm, 158 Kopkind Rd. Guilford, Vermon

Elvis died on August 16, 1977, and as the Memphis Flyer said in advance of the premier of The Faithful in the city he made his home just a few days before the anniversary, it’s a wonderful surprise after so long to “encounter an angle that allows us to see him in a new light. So it is with the work of filmmaker Annie Berman, whose remarkable documentary … is a fascinating examination of cultural icons and how they are remembered”.

Kopkind and the Center for Independent Documentary are proud to have played a part in the early development of the documentary when Annie came to Film Camp, and are thrilled to be presenting it now, as the feature presentation of our late-summer gathering on Saturday, August 28, at Tree Frog Farm.

The event will begin with a potluck barbecue at 5:30. We’ll provide the grilled fare; bring a covered dish! We’ll raise a toast to Andy’s birthday (August 24) and to his living memorial which since 1999 has been a source of inspiration, information, intellectual stimulation and rest for hundreds of people who are making a difference in the world today. These are hard times for imagining the joy of politics, but imagine we must. It’s what people have done throughout history to make change.

After the repast, we’ll start off the screening (outdoors) with a sneak peak of Far Out, Chuck Light and Daniel Keller’s work-in-progress about life on and after the commune days in Vermont and Massachusetts — an exploration of not just an era’s history but broad themes of how we grapple with idealism, relationships, morality, spirituality, civic engagement and finding home.

Chuck will be on hand, as will Annie. In true Kopkind style, along with good food, good films, there will be lively banter with the filmmakers.

Annie’s film examines the popular allure of not only Elvis but also Pope John Paul II and Princess Diana, and the rites of their devotees. “The words we express for grief, or the messages you see written on the wall of Graceland or in messages to Diana, can sound cliché”, Annie has said. “Like ‘We’ll never stop loving you,’ ‘We’ll never forget you,’ ‘You’re always in our heart.’ But in that moment when it’s happening to you, it’s not cliché at all. It just feels true.” As the Flyer‘s reviewer put it: “More than interviews with the faithful, Berman’s documentary delves into the quality of perceptions of fame. There are insights into how these global figures appeared to the public, the things they said, the expressions on their faces in unguarded moments. You may believe you know who they were, but it takes an artist like Berman to show you something you hadn’t imagined.”

Please join us on Saturday, the 28th. RSVP to John Scagliotti at stonewal@sover.net; or to JoAnn Wypijewski at jwyp@earthlink.net.

And let’s remember everyone, past and present, friends and lovers and comrades, who ever made us feel lucky to be alive.

Andy at his birthday party, 1984, with Kathryn Kilgore, Alexander Cockburn and John


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