Udo Kier, star of Swan Song is a wonder. He’s been around and while and ashamedly I haven’t seen any of the highly acclaimed recent work he’s done: Bacurau and The Painted Bird, but I’m sure I’ve seen him in one of the many Von Trier movies.
But I’ve now redeemed myself by being one of the few to see him shine in Todd Stephens newest writing and directorial project. Stephens hasn’t really hit it big since Gypsy 83 back in 2001, so welcome back my man!
Swan Song is a ‘based on a true story’ tale of a hairdresser come out of retirement for one last cosmetology gig…that’s the simple explanation and as promised I don’t spoil. Yet that description doesn’t explain the depth and flavor of this ultra indie movie, the kind where you really get to appreciate and love even the most minor characters. Not to mention, an important thematic film, a la Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night”.
Two well knowns (in addition to Udo Kier of course) sweet to do such an obvious shoe string budget film are Jennifer Coolidge (fantastic in the Christopher Guest mockumentaries like Best in Show) and the tv legend Linda Evans (Dynasty and breaking news! Evans does a German version of Love Boat called Das Taumschiff, adorable). Linda Evans role in Swan Song stands out as ultra brave, in fact, see the film to see why my friend and I debated how much money it would take us to do that role.
Swan Song’s not perfect, but like the well meaning sewing I try to do on worn out clothing, Swan Song stitches together a sweet triumphant story of aging, even if the threads are a bit primitively stitched.