The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert follows the journey – both literal and metaphorical – of two drag queens and a transgender woman, who travel to and perform at a drag show in Alice Springs.
On their adventure, the characters are exposed to the ugly and transgressive side of the Australian outback, experiencing homophobic and transphobic abuse. The film also explores pressing themes such as racism and misogyny.
Directed by Stephan Elliott, and starring Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp, Priscilla is a key work from the ‘Glitter Cycle’ of Australian cinema, a sub-genre of eccentric films that came to prominence in the early 1990s. It is also Australia's only queer road movie musical.
The film features some of the most iconic moments from Australian cinema history. A particularly striking sequence features characters in full drag on top of a bus speeding through the red Australian desert.
‘The plot of Priscilla isn't as important as the outlandish, wicked dialogue, the wild costumes and make-up, and the general high spirits of the entire enterprise’ – David Stratton, Variety
‘It's a tremendous film that was ahead of its time on LGBT issues and, in some ways, is ahead of ours’ – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
NFSA curator Jenny Gall will presents iconic costumes from the film held in our collection.
See more films in our Priscilla and Muriel Turn 25 season.