“Swan Song”–Movie Theatre Review   Leave a comment

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From the interviews with the star Udo Kier and the PR surrounding the film I really didn’t know what to expect but certainly not what I saw! I was surprised reading that UdoKier had been in over 200 movies, some including big hits. Being a big movie fan his name and his pictures didn’t ring a bell with me at all.  https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/prolific-character-actor-udo-kier-184638372.html

From a couple of stories I knew the film was based on a true person https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/112306572/boyce-c-pitsenbarger who lived most of his life in Sandusky, Ohio, as a gay man from 1943 through the 2000s.

Seeing the trailer https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/112306572/boyce-c-pitsenbarger I got the sense from the scenes shown it would be a campy, fun film showing what it meant growing up in a small town in Ohio as a gay person.

I walked out of “Swan Song” playing in Fort Lauderdale at The Gateway Theatre realizing that I had cried a lot more than I laughed watching the film.

Udo Kier does give a star turn in both the ‘gay’ scenes and the scenes with his lover of 33 years, the scenes in the nursing home, the funny scenes in the drag bar/show,  his scenes with his old friend  “Eunice”, played by Ira Hawkins, which are funny and touching, as are the brief AIDS scenes, the scenes with, as a hairdresser, he is asked to do the hair of the recent deceased society lady Rita Parker Sloan with who he had a odd relationship with but was offered $25,000 to do the job.

The opening is slow and doesn’t really tell you where the story might go and how the director-screenwriter, Todd Stephens, is trying to reach the audience until we leave the nursing home when the movie picks up, hits on many of the subjects I have mentioned including a perfect scene between Kier and Stephanie McVay, the latter having been a customer of Pat’s at his beauty shop.

The only scenes that I feel didn’t completely work were the ones involving Jennifer Coolidge while the ones with Michael Urie added a much needed look at the gay life of today as compared to ‘yesterday’.

“Swan Song” is not what you may be expecting but it is a film that would have made Pat Pitsenbarger proud of who and what he was and will make you feel what gay life was like in Ohio in the 20th century.

Posted August 6, 2021 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW

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