The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) – 31th Helsinki International Film Festival - Love & Anarchy

Kasarmikatu 46-48, 00130 Helsinki
Savoy Theatre

During the opening scenes of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – writer/director Stephan Elliott’s bright, glitzy and fabulously queer road movie that made a mighty splash when it arrived in cinemas in 1994 – two drag queens discuss travelling interstate for a cabaret show. Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) pitches the idea to venture to Alice Springs to Bernadette (Terence Stamp), a tart-tongued trans woman with a sense of humour as dry […] as a dead dingo’s donger.

“That’s just what his country needs,” Bernadette scoffs. “A cock in a frock on a rock.” And, actually, that was just what the country needed: an intelligent and entertaining Australian film that embraces LGBT culture without turning a quintessentially personal story into an exercise in outrage-pedalling and button-pushing. […] It would have been an obvious choice for Elliot to focus on the outrage of shocked observers as the queens do their thing. There’s certainly an element of that: the flamboyant three protagonists (played by Stamp, Weaving and Guy Pearce) encounter bigotry as they travel further from the city […]. But Elliot’s affection for his characters and ability to portray them as robust personalities rather than proponents of a political message means that Priscilla avoids being an exercise in finger-wagging. […] [The film is] gorgeous, glittery and a little bit crazy.

Luke Buckmaster, The Guardian

Theme: Love & Anarchy Trailblazers
Country: Australia
Director: Stephan Elliott
Screenplay: Stephan Elliott
Starring: Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Chadwick, Mark Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter
Production: Al Clark, Michael Hamlyn / Latent Image, Specific Films
Duration: 103 min
Age limit: S
Language: English
Subtitles: -