Swan Song (1992)


An aging actor remembers his past stage triumphs and contemplates a dim future on the stage of an empty theatre.

Director: Kenneth Branagh.
Stars: John Gielgud, Richard Briers.

1993 Academy Awards – Nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film, Live Action.


Note: Here’s another rare Oscar nominated short film, unfortunately this copy (the only one I’ve found) has some image stability issues, lots of jumping from minute 5 to ~13 but after that it stabilizes, there’s also Italian subtitles embedded on it, guessing the source is an Italian VHS, it’s still very watchable though and this copy is also of better quality than the one you can find on Youtube split in 2 parts, the second part there is really bad, just unwatchable.

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One Comment

  1. January 10, 2020

    A truly remarkable short film starring one of the great Shakespearean actors of our generation performing in a quintessential actor’s nightmare. Gielgud plays a celebrated actor on an empty, blackened theatre stage reliving the extremes of a night of tribulation and regret recalling his deepest fears and finding salvation in returning to the acting he so adores. Branagh is well established and talented enough to understand keeping the movement still and the camera on Gielgud as he finds the emotions he needs in the words of great Shakespearean moments. Despite the problems in the technical transfer, a brilliant combination of theatre and film. Thank you Jon.

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