The Swan Song – Movie News |

Pat Pitsenbarger (Udo Kier) is in a house after suffering a stroke. Although frail, he has a head and is a bit of an old devil: he smokes in secret with the habit, almost the obsession, of making paper shapes. Out of the blue, he is visited by attorney Shanrock (Tom Bloom) with the news that one of his former clients has died and that she has stipulated in her will that she must do her hair and makeup for the funeral.

Dressed in a green pantsuit, fedora, heels and countless cigarettes, Pat embarks on a Straight Story-like journey through the town of Ohio, during which he finds that things have gone wrong. change a lot. The supplies he needs for work are all but gone, and he barely recognizes his old haunts as they adjust to the changing tastes of the gay community. There are also some old scores to settle along the way, with the living and the dead.

Based on a real-life character from his hometown in Ohio, writer and director Todd Stephens also seems to have imbued Pat with the late pianist Liberace’s camp and circumstances.

Beautifully filmed Stephens captures Pat’s delightful incongruity within the rugged rural town and its people. Kier is the star; displaying the character’s flamboyance with her wasp-like behavior and stealing every scene. Although there is room for some wonderful banter with the people he meets on his journey.

It’s not a one-note performance though and that’s great because Pat isn’t an easy character to like. He’s powered by a massive ego and knocks almost everyone’s nose out of place, but Kier imbues Pat with a dignity that warms him up for the viewer. As he delves into his memories, beyond clothes and style, to his deceased partner, whom he loved and misses so much, and what they had to go through to get to where he is now .


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