Comedian and actress Sooz Kempner returns for her third Fringe show with a look at the films that were most important to her growing up and which have influenced her career. She talks of watching such child-friendly favourites as Aliens and Jaws instead of standard Disney fare and of the impact that Scorsese’s GoodFellas had on her as a sixteen year old, while also including the (lack of) talents of famed bad filmmakers Tommy Wiseau and Neil Breen.
Kempner’s energetic and enthusiastic delivery of her film-related anecdotes is accompanied by a display of her impressive singing voice, with a highlight being a self-penned number about her skewed childhood view of Disney films. She also delves into her teenage desire to win an Oscar, which results in her sharing her embarrassing teenage film script with the audience – an homage to Scorsese except with more sexy dancing! Kempner also talks about her own connections to the film world, including working as an animal handler on The Danish Girl and also revealing her link with Aliens via her grumpy childhood pet.
The only weak point of the night comes from Kempner’s other non-film related material, involving her veganism and various interruptions involving a few of her characters from previous shows, which provide some mild laughs but otherwise detract from the main focus of the show. However, Kempner manages to bring it back together with her climax which reveals the traumatic reason for the show’s existence, and how her love of film has inspired her to move past the incident and realise her dream as an actress and comedian.
Sooz on Film is an entertaining one-woman show that not only provides a personal perspective on films but also effectively showcases Kempner as a comedian and performer who should by all rights be in greater demand.