P&I GIVE ME PITY!
Sissy St. Clair’s debut television special, a variety show evening of music and laughter, quickly curdles into a psychedelic nightmare.
“Sissy St. Claire is the queen of the airwaves, ruling over her very own TV special. A true diva, St. Claire can do it all — sing, dance, and act — all without breaking a sweat. That is, until a shadowy presence begins stalking her, marring the perfect fictional world St. Claire has crafted for herself. As reality and fiction blur, St. Claire tries to carry on performing while grappling with her own self-doubt and fear. We’re delighted to bring back director Amanda Kramer, who last attended the fest with her feature LADYWORLD in 2018 and her short film SIN ULTRA in 2019. In her latest movie, Kramer crafts an unbelievably entertaining and stylish twist on the variety shows of the past, complete with intricate disco dance routines, hilariously cheesy monologues, and canned laughter. Through the expert use of soft focus, colored lighting, and retro editing techniques, GIVE ME PITY! could easily pass this off as a recently-unearthed, bizarre special from the ‘70s. Sophie von Haselberg shines as the talented, but delusional, Sissy St. Claire. Her magnetic presence and enviable comedic timing shine through every scene of the film. In the pressure cooker of the studio, we watch as St. Claire gradually unravels in a spectacular fashion, giving a wonderfully multi-dimensional performance. GIVE ME PITY! is a meticulously crafted aesthetic delight, but there’s real substance there to compliment the style. Campy fun meets giallo-esque thrills in this compulsively watchable film. (LISA DREYER)”