Give Me Pity! @ Northwest Film Forum

Set her free 🌟

📸: Alief

Wednesday, February 1st • 7:30 pm
Thursday, February 2nd • 7:30 pm
Wednesday, February 8th • 7:30 pm
Thursday, February 9th • 7:30 pm

Ever wanted to be the star of your own televised retro variety show? What kinds of stories and jokes would you tell? What songs would you choose? How good are you at aggressive choreography? How much of your offstage personality would you reveal? Most importantly, could you handle the pressure of hot lights, a live audience, and millions of people at home watching you, judging you, and…are they laughing at you? Maybe you should see Give Me Pity!, the latest film from Amanda Kramer (Please Baby Please), before making any big plans.

Anyway, curtains up! Light the lights! And ready or not, here comes Sissy. It’s Sissy St. Claire’s big debut, and like Bette Midler, Liza Minelli, Cher, Judy Garland, and Doris Day before her, it’s time to shine! She’s a star, and the audience loves her, and she loves them, and they love her for loving them, and she loves them for loving her…and other musical theatre lyrics.

But in this studio, during this live broadcast, Sissy’s carefully constructed plans start to congeal, warp, and break apart, and the entire thing unravels right before our very eyes in a glittery breakdown. It’s a rhinestone-infested nightmare equal parts Stephen Sondheim, Bob Fosse, and Ken Russell, plus that weird, almost culty fringe theatre show with loud noises you saw in a basement blackbox theatre you just can’t shake from of your noggin.

If you come out of this film still wanting to reach for the stars, godspeed to you. Just have a shrink on speed-dial just in case.

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Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.