Udo Kier going strong in "Swan Song"

Swan Song directed by Todd Stephens debuted at the 45th Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco that ran from June 17-27. Stephens has made several films about gay relationships that have been presented at LGBTQ film festivals through the years, such as Gypsy 83 about two young Goths from Ohio that travel to an annual festival that honors Stevie Nicks. Swan Song is Stephens latest and stars German actor Udo Kier as Pat Pitzenbarger, a retired hairdresser now living in assisted living. As Gypsy 83, Swan Song is set in Todd Stephens home state Ohio. His first Ohio tale directed by David Moreton and written by Moreton and Stephens is a coming out story of young closeted gay men - Edge of Seventeen made in 1998.

Pat learns from the lawyer of his former client at his beauty salon, Rita Parker Sloan, that her final wish was to have him do her hair up after her death. For this role, Stephens brings to the screen veteran actor Linda Evans from the 1960’s Tv series smash hit Big Valley - the daughter of matriarch Victoria Barkley played by none other than Barbara Stanwyck.

Two veterans of both TV and film Kier and Evans make for a moving ensemble. But in this film Evans is a corpse. The care facility where he folds napkins is dreary compared to the life Pat has led but his romp down memory lane is a necessary one that invigorates him. One of the stops he makes is his hair salon which is now African American run. After this sobering experience which he handles with great humor, he jumps rope with neighborhood kids. He walks by his home that has been leveled literarily to the ground. The contrast between his assisted living set up and his performance at a nightclub with glittery clothing makes you wonder why there are not more LGBT assisted living centers for seniors.

This is a great role for Kier who has been in films with some of the most eccentric directors like Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Dario Argento. At 75, Udo Kier is just getting started. Swan Song will be available on VOD on Aug 13 by Magnolia Pictures.

© 2021 - Moira Jean Sullivan - Air Date: 08/11/2021
Movie Magazine International