Priscilla turns 20

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SHE’S baaack!  Priscilla, that is, the famous bus that helped contribute to Australia’s reputation for joyous transvestism.

priscilla_bus_700_px_jpg_700x461_q85In the spirit of the film, the National Film and Sound Archive is celebrating the 20th anniversary of “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, with an event in Canberra this Friday,  February 28, as part of the “Enlighten” festival.

Highlights include an exclusive display of original costumes from the film, a Q&A with Academy Award-winning costume designer Tim Chappel, a performance and games by “Tranny Bingo”, and a screening of the film under the stars.

“Priscilla” was written and directed by Stephen Elliott, follows the journey of three drag artists (played by Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp) from Sydney to Alice Springs, screened at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival and was a phenomenal success around the world.

NFSA chief, Michael Loebenstein praises the film for “its genre-defying energy, its gender-bending identity politics, its fresh look at iconic Australian landscapes, and the fine art and craft displayed on all levels: direction, performances, production and costume design.”

The film, which was later successfully adapted as a stage musical, was nominated at the Golden Globes for Best Picture and Best Actor (Stamp) – Comedy or Musical, and won Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardner an Oscar for Best Costume Design. From 5.30 – 6.30pm on Friday, Chappel will discuss his work on Priscilla with NFSA film curator Meg Labrum.

‘Priscilla’: 20th Anniversary Extravaganza at the NFSA, McCoy St Acton, 5pm, Friday February 28. 8.30 – 11pm, screening of  “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. Tickets: $40, includes Q&A, Tranny Bingo, film and complimentary drink on arrival. Bookings to  6248 2000.

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