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DVD: Priscilla with “Extra Frills”!

June 10th, 2007 · No Comments · Comedy, Culture, Film, LGBT, Music, News, Video

Priscilla Extra Frills EditionAt long last! An “Extra Frills” special edition of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was released on DVD this week. It includes director commentary from Stephan Elliott, deleted scenes, bloopers, a making-of featurette, trailers, teasers and more. AfterElton.com waxes enthusiastic about it here.

When the film premiered at Cannes, it was such a smash that it nearly caused riots, and it sashayed off with the Audience Prize, nearly guaranteeing solid international distribution for what is at its heart a very Australian film. The movie is as much about the country as it is about the queens; as producer Al Clark put it at the time of the film’s release (echoing the original poster art), “The basic comic premise of the movie is: three people who may as well be Martians, standing in the middle of this enormous country — where in fact, they are Martians.”

Martians or not, these three indefatigable performers inspire everyone they meet and change a lot of minds along the way, a feat that extended to the movie’s production as well, according to Elliott, who said in an interview: “Some of the more macho members of the crew came to the movie thinking it was going to be quite hysterical. By the end they got into it and every one of those boys quite happily put on a dress for the crew photo.”

The infectious charm of Priscilla had that kind of widespread impact: Almost anyone, straight or gay or anything else, could enjoy this film.

I remember seeing Priscilla in a packed theater in San Francisco the week it opened, which was pretty much an unbeatable Priscilla experience. Nontheless, it’s still a lot of fun on video. (And on video I get to hear a lot of the lines that the audience laughed, hooted, and cheered right through that festive night in SF.)

Also, Priscilla is the movie that single-handedly rehabilitated ABBA’s image. Before Priscilla, liking ABBA was a guilty pleasure. (Yes, people, there was still widespread disco shame in America at the beginning of the 90s.) But after Priscilla, not liking ABBA made you seem humorless and uptight.

Also: Hugo Weaving! When Priscilla first came out in 1994, I had no idea who Hugo Weaving was. But when you re-watch Priscilla now, after having seen The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings, you get to go:

Oh my stars!

That’s Agent Smith in a giant wig and a glittery gown, performing as “Mitzi Del Bra”!

That’s Elrond of Rivendell, lip syncing to ABBA!

Then go back and watch The Lord of the Rings, and every time Elrond appears, imagine that in the back of his mind he’s secretly running through the choreography to “Mamma Mia.” While the rest of the Council are all talking about the journey to Mordor, in a little part of his head Elrond is humming, Just one look and I can hear a bell ring!

Believe me, it adds some serious entertainment value.



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