Swan Song

Swan Song (Todd Stephens, 2021) Udo Kier

I'd never heard of Todd Stephens or Sandusky Ohio, but by the time I got to the end of the credits, I was pretty sure that Stephens hailed from that town. The film is not about Stephens, but it certainly shows a lot of the town, being set and entirely shot there, as recorded at great length in said credits.

It's based on the life a real person, a hairdresser named Pat Pitsenbarger, who, according to theadvocatemag was the first gay person the writer/director knew, and who also lived in Sandusky.

It's a bit of a road movie (walking, not driving), a (gay) love story, and it's also about mortality - not to mention coiffure, and queer culture.

Udo Kier is a year younger than me, but looks older :) I think I first noticed him in one or other of those 'Andy Warhol' movies that were actually made by Paul Morrissey. He was in Flesh for Frankenstein (1973), and therefore, predictably, Blood for Dracula (1974). Out of his 270 credits in IMDb, the next one that made an impression on me was not until Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011). He was in another one of the Dane's films, Nymphomaniac: Vol II (2013) with Charlotte Gainsbourg, tho to be honest I can't remember his waiter in that. He is perfectly cast in the lead role in this, as a camp hairdresser making his last appearance.

I think it's charming.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 31 December, 2021 | Now: 31 December, 2021