I'm still here...damn it! With this simple statement, Sandra Bernhard once again reclaims her title as America's alternative muse. Armed with material that took her downtown perspective uptown for her first Broadway show, Ms. Sandra rips into some of life's most intimate subjects, including life, death and Melanie Griffith. Very few escape the hilariously honest cut of her tongue. Courtney Love, Paula Jones, Rosie O'Donnell, cordless phones, The New Yorker, Fleetwood Mac; all fall victim to our Diva's comedic appetite. Originally filmed as an HBO Special at Slim's in San Francisco, "I'm Still Here...Damn It! was shot by Academy Award winning cinematograher Haskell Wexler (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest), and directed by legendary director Marty Callner. No one holds up a mirror to how we live our lives more effectively than Ms. Sandra. Whether you like what you see or not, you're guaranteed to laugh. Sandra Bernhard is still here, and thank God, damn it!
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Sandra Bernhard's dazzling one-woman show comes to video after a wildly successful Broadway run and national tour that virtually jump-started her career after a low-key decade of writing books and making various television appearances (Roseanne). Less structured and formal than her previous film, the cult classic Without You I'm Nothing, I'm Still Here... Damn It! catches La Diva Sandra in San Francisco, some six months pregnant and laying waste to the cultural detritus of the '90s. Nothing and no one emerges unscathed from Bernhard's lacerating wit as she paints a vast, swirling portrait of today's media-saturated landscape. This breathtaking ride showcases Bernhard in top form as she offers commentary on everyone from Mariah Carey to Courtney Love, as well as the waifish girl singers of Lilith Fair, to whom she offers the advice, "Just get out of that dirty bathtub for starters!" Bernhard is not afraid to call a spade a spade--and make that spade live to regret the error of its ways--but I'm Still Here... Damn It! is also about the efforts to keep your soul pure under increasingly superficial circumstances. Bernhard touches on issues of religion, self-fulfillment, bravery, and motherhood, and utilizes her stunning voice as well as her scathing wit. A tribute to Christine McVie, "Nightingale," is both a send-up and homage to the Fleetwood Mac pianist, and Bernhard ends her show with an intoxicating Moroccan prayer and a stunning cover of "Midnight Train to Georgia." And as photographed by legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler (Medium Cool, Matewan), Bernhard is an electrical presence, beautiful and shocking at the same time. At only an hour, it's a condensed version of her show (for the full-on effect, buy the soundtrack), but amazing nonetheless. The DVD features about 30 minutes of bonus footage, including ribald observations of Rosie O'Donnell, Melanie Griffith, and Liza Minnelli, among others. --Mark Englehart
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