50 Years of SIFF: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Now Playing - Dec 1, 2023
Three girlfriends—two drag performers and a transgender woman—escape from their harsh city life and embark on an all-singing, all-dancing, all-camping cross-country tour into the wild Australian outback in their cherished lavender bus, Priscilla.
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Friday, December 1, 2023
Prepare to be wowed by this extraordinary comedy from Down Under. In Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, three girlfriends – two drag queens, Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) and Felicia (Guy Pearce), and trans woman Bernadette (Terence Stamp) decide to escape from their harsh city life and embark on an all-singing, all-dancing, all-camping cross-country tour into the wild Australian outback. But this tour is unlike any other. After their cherished lavender bus, Priscilla, breaks down in the desert, the three gal-pals are forced to contend with prejudice, unlikely romance, and an even more unlikely –and uproarious– celebration with a group of starry-eyed Aborigines, all of whom are treated to a dazzling performance of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive (of course). Far outstripping (and outcamping) efforts such as La Cage Aux Folles and Victor/Victoria, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert also delves into the true personalities of these three unusual and memorable heroines –revealing that, yes, life can be a drag, but there’s always a new costume change, always a new shade of fuchsia, and always a chance to reinvent yourself and start anew. Look closely –it is not, we repeat, not Meryl Streep with the long, luxurious locks on the role of Bernadette. It’s Terence Stamp in a startling and moving turn as a warmly maternal transwoman always willing to take a chance on love. It is, without question, a jaw-dropping, eye-popping performance, one you’ll not soon forget. Rounding out the trio of girlfriends is Guy Pearce as the petulant, sexy, nasty-bitchy Felicia, a gal who strikes with two fingernails when one would surely do; and Hugo Weaving in a touching performance as Mitzi, an upright gal who balances her difficult roles as both a performer and father. “Get frocked” with this sensational trio of all-out, show-stopping glitter-gals as they climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, till they find their dream.
- Director: Stephan Elliott
- Principal Cast: Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter
- Country: Australia
- Year: 1994
- Running Time: 103 min.
- Producer: Al Clark, Michael Hamlyn
- Screenplay: Stephan Elliott
- Cinematographers: Brian J. Breheny
- Editors: Sue Blainey
- Music: Guy Gross
- Filmography: Swinging Safari (2018), A Few Best Men (2011), Easy Virtue (2008), Eye of the Beholder (1999), Welcome to Woop Woop (1997), The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), Frauds (1993)
- Language: English