Sandra Bernhard: I'm Still Here...Damn It!

Overview

Actress/comedian Sandra Bernhard is known to millions as a frequent guest star on TV series such as Roseanne and Ally McBeal, but I'm Still Here Dammit! provides a document of her most enduring work: her one-woman shows. Although the piece originally ran on Broadway and was the basis of a comedy CD, the version here was recorded live at the San Francisco club Slim's for an HBO broadcast and bolstered by an additional 30 minutes of footage on video. Clad in a diaphanous peach frock that reveals both her underwear ...
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Overview

Actress/comedian Sandra Bernhard is known to millions as a frequent guest star on TV series such as Roseanne and Ally McBeal, but I'm Still Here Dammit! provides a document of her most enduring work: her one-woman shows. Although the piece originally ran on Broadway and was the basis of a comedy CD, the version here was recorded live at the San Francisco club Slim's for an HBO broadcast and bolstered by an additional 30 minutes of footage on video. Clad in a diaphanous peach frock that reveals both her underwear and her very visibly pregnant belly, Bernhard practices her wit on topics such as cell phones and the Internet, faux spirituality, the Lilith Fair, America's obsession with anti-bacterial products, her Latino house-painter and her lone, unpleasant experience taking hashish at an Amsterdam bar. Although the show features fewer songs than her previous outings, Bernhard is backed by longtime collaborator Mitch Kaplan on such tunes as "On the Runway," a mock-tribute to slain fashion designer Gianni Versace, which Berhnard imagines as a collaboration between Sting, Elton John, and Naomi Campbell, with proceeds to benefit "fashion victims everywhere." Other celebrity monologues chart Fleetwood Mac singer Christine McVie's fantastical transformation into a greasy-spoon waitress and Bernhard's possibly imaginary friendship with grunge diva-turned-actress Courtney Love. I'm Still Here Dammit was directed by Pee-Wee Herman Show vet Marty Callner. Award-winning Hollywood cinematographer Haskell Wexler also participated.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
This recording of actress/comedian Sandra Bernhard's one-woman show of the same name provides a more straightforward framing of the performer's distinctive blend of comedy, pop-cultural banter, and performance art than the 1990 adaptation of her show Without You I'm Nothing. That film added an overriding narrative to a studio re-creation of Bernhard's act, but here we get a straightforward concert taping, which puts the emphasis on Bernhard's indelible stage persona, her brilliant sense of timing, and her ability to interact with a live audience. The overriding theme of Bernhard's monologues is the absurdity of our technologically advanced, media-saturated lives and the enduring if troubling allure of celebrity icons, from Cher and Heart to Jewel and Mariah Carey. "Give me Joan Jett with a shag haircut and a black eye," Bernhard proclaims, protesting the whineyness of Fiona Apple and other '90s alt-rock starlets; she even violates her own non-disclosure policy about her well-publicized and enduring spat with former friend Madonna, joking about the pop star's study of the Jewish Kabbalah before launching into an uncharacteristically heartfelt sung prayer. The emergence of sincere spirituality into Bernhard's act marks a new level of maturity in the performer's repertoire; if the studied superficiality of much of the rest doesn't quite gel with this new element, well, Bernhard has always been a study in contradictions. A theorist would argue that her act is an attempt to foreground the fleeting trivialities with which Americans distract themselves from the messier things in life, but thankfully the artist herself doesn't weigh us down with such conceptual baggage. Instead, she leaves us with 90 minutes of her hilariously and sarcastically perceptive persona, no theoretical background required.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2003
  • UPC: 031398828327
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sandra Bernhard
Denise Fraser
Mitch Kaplan
Soumaya Akaaboun
Technical Credits
Marty Callner Director, Executive Producer
Steven Atura Makeup
Sandra Bernhard Executive Producer, Screenwriter
David Diehl Associate Producer
Andy Grant Art Director
Bronston Jones Associate Producer
Kristen Ross Art Director
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
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