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Ends Wed, Sep 1


  • Dir. Todd Stephens
  • USA
  • 2021
  • 105 min.
  • NR
  • DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Closed Captioning
  • Hearing Loop

Retired hairdresser and local bar performer icon Pat Pitsenbarger (Udo Kier) has given up on life from the confines of his small-town Sandusky, Ohio nursing home. But when Pat gets word that a former client’s dying wish was for him to style her final hairdo, he sets out on an epic journey across Sandusky to confront the ghosts of his past — and collect the beauty supplies necessary for the job. Writer-director Todd Stephens (GYPSY 83) populates his hometown with assundry characters and local flavor befitting of a one-time resident, and radiant autumnal muse Udo Kier delivers a standout performance in a career that’s full of them.

“Based on a real-life Sandusky legend, Stephens beautifully uses Pitsenbarger’s story to discuss issues of grief, acceptance, identity, and the evolution of gay culture in America.... SWAN SONG succeeds and proves that fabulousness has no expiration date.” —Rachel Reeves, Consequence of Sound

“It’s pure joy to watch. Carefully paced and deeply reflective, SWAN SONG embraces its camp sensibilities while also yearning for both a simpler and yet complex time when Pat was King (or Queen) of town.” —John Fink, The Film Stage

“What’s most notable about Todd Stephens’ heartfelt salute to a real-life local legend is that the campiness of its outrageous plot becomes secondary to the soulful poignancy.” —David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

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