Wednesday, 1 October 2008

THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT (1994)

Not a film I ever felt the need to see but the opportunity arose unexpectedly and I thought "Why not ?" Glad I did as PRISCILLA is a gem. Three drag queens buy an old bus, christen it Priscilla, and set off across the Australian Outback to perform their cabaret act at the hotel owned by the former wife of one of the three. The bulk of the film is taken up by their journey across the bleakly beautiful Australian landscape which becomes increasingly surreal as it progresses. The film is extremely funny but some may balk when one of the trio produces his prize piece of Abba memorabilia which turns out to be a bit of one of one of Agnetha Faltskog's turds preserved in a bottle! The film is full of compassion but is never allows itself to become mawkishly sentimental. The performances by the three leads are a revelation. Hugo Weaving is a new name to me (he's in the forthcoming remake of THE WOLFMAN) but one I will now look out for. Guy Pearce is better than I've ever seen him and the real suprise is veteran Terence Stamp giving what is probably a career best performance as the ageing, recently bereaved, transexual Bernadette. Watch for the scene where the three leads perform Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" to an appreciative audience of Aborigines. And who'd have believed a woman could do that with a ping pong ball? I liked it so much I ordered a copy from Amazon while I was watching it. Directed by Stephen Elliott. Rating ****

1 comment:

Terry Frost said...

Hi Weaverman
Hugo Weaving was the main villain in The Matrix movies and played the protagonist in V For Vendetta. He's a great Australian stage actor as well as a film actor.

I've seen Priscilla once, in a cinema in Broken Hill where part of the movie was filmed (the funky muralled hotel room in the film was four doors away from the fleapit) and half the audience in the viewing were extras in the film. Very disquieting experience, that one.