Surely one of the most fabulous movies to emerge out of the virtual SXSW Film Festival earlier this year was Todd Stephens’ “Swan Song.” This prickly dark comedy stars German cult movie icon Udo Kier as a retired hairdresser who escapes his humdrum nursing home to honor one of his favorite client’s dying wishes. Check out the trailer for the film below.
You know Udo Kier as the muse of filmmakers such as Lars von Trier and Gus van Sant. The 76-year-old Kier, who was born in Germany near the end of World War II and therefore knows a thing or two, has been primarily typecast into bit character roles throughout his career, most recently as a raging cuckold who gouges the eyes of his wife’s lover in the bleak and brutal Holocaust drama “The Painted Bird.” But he brings to each of his movies an enthusiasm despite the dour material, always game to play a debased decadent on the sidelines. Which is not the case for “Swan Song,” a joyous vehicle for Kier, who finally gets to play the leading man. The cast also includes Jennifer Coolidge, Linda Evans, Michael Urie, Ira Hawkins, and Stephanie McVay.
Here’s an excerpt from IndieWire’s review out of SXSW: “From Pat smoking in a wheelchair in the middle of traffic as the bravado of Shirley Bassey belts on the soundtrack, to his swanning around town adorned by a boutonnière and a pink top hat, there are enough iconic Udo Kier moments for several movies here…Kier elevates the familiar beats, clearly having the time of his life sashaying through a playlist boasting everyone from Melissa Manchester to Dusty Springfield and Beyonce… Kier has always been a keen collaborator who, whether playing a Nazi or a vampire or a butler in the wings of a production larger than him, never fails to deliver. ‘Swan Song’ isn’t just a reminder of why he’s always been so fabulous — this is his show.”
Magnolia Pictures releases the film in theaters on August 6, before a VOD bow on August 13.