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Chandelier Swinger

We’re not ones to quote song lyrics as a substitute for writing our own original thoughts.

Instead, we’re just going to paraphrase the lyrics from “Chandelier” by Sia because they’re so completely appropriate to describe the titular character in Swan Song, out today.

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night
Feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier.

Out today in theaters and on-demand next Friday, August 13, Todd Stephens’ Swan Song is one of the most powerful movies we’ve seen in a long, long, loooong time.

Udo Kier stars as Pat Pitsenbarger, a retired hairdresser hired to do the hair of a former client (Linda Evans!!!) as her dying wish. What happens next is a road trip movie of sorts as Pat wanders through town (on foot) to procure the supplies he needs to make the Ohio socialite look her very best one last time.

Along the way to the funeral home, he encounters his past head-on in a variety of ways, all with the heartbreaking, bittersweet knowledge that his own time on this earth is limited and living in the moment has never been more important.

It’s a melancholy movie to be sure (even the always-hilarious Jennifer Coolidge turns in a somber, nuanced performance), but the moments of celebration and laugh-out-loud humor add a touch of joy to the proceedings. It’s a study of old-school gay culture versus the modern-day LGBTQ scene, as well as a harsh look at what happens to the mind as we age.

 Udo Kier in SWAN SONG, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo by Chris Stephens. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

But most of all, Swan Song demonstrates the power of memories and life experiences in shaping who we are. And, if we’re so lucky, the strength that comes from forgiveness and letting go.

It’s definitely the best movie we’ve seen so far this year and we’ve been recommending it to every gay we know since we first screened it.

Because soon enough, we’ll all be in Pat’s end-of-life situation and it’s going to definitely take a village to keep us out of trouble—or hopefully get us deeper into it one last time.

Swan Song
In theaters today
On-demand Friday, August 13
Written and Directed by Todd Stephens
Starring Udo Kier, Jennifer Coolidge, Linda Evans, Michael Urie, Ira Hawkins, Stephanie McVay
swansongfilm.com

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures