Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Three Reasons of Many After 21 Years The Adventures of Priscilla is Fabulous


(5/27/2015) Tampa, Fl --- The idea of New Queer Cinema had been around the 1990's (1) but as a whole idea "Queer Cinema" had been lingering probably since the creation of cinematography as a form of expression from the "underground cultures" or avant garde as it's aimed more to the mainstream media.

The Adventures as a movie showing the lives of gay men not as a token but as well on their regular lives wasn't a novelty concept albeit during the first six decades of the last century it moved towards the experimental side such as in hands of Andy Warhol with the movie of The Chelsea Girls that was pivotal to influence and expose the homoerotic aspect to the masses as well to the mainstream cinema.

There always been influence from the LGBTQ culture around the world of arts beyond the cinematic experience, probably the most popular in the last 100 years was on the decade of the 50's and first half of the 60's with the renaissance of the pulp fiction magazines (2) where there was an exploration albeit mostly a fantasy erotic one with the influences of forbidden love or unrequited feelings for the other person in the equation.

The idea of LGBTQ representation in literature or art was mostly hidden within undertones of cliches and stereotypes but yet it was a beginning to understand where the pop culture iconography comes within the LGBTQ context. All these representations came on an era before Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Front as well the Second Wave of Feminism which both movements influenced a more equal representation of men and women within the entertainment media.(3)

We have to think that in the chronological context The Adventures of Priscilla comes around during a time where the misunderstanding of AIDS and the subsequent pandemic placed the LGBTQ communities as pariahs because the general population didn't understood that AIDS wasn't a disease that attacked men who have sex with men (4). There was a hysteria about who could be infected and how the infection was spreading.

On the U.S.A. around the same time when The Adventures of Priscilla was being shown in the cinemas, a young Cuban immigrant by the name Pedro Zamora became the face of someone with the terminal stages of the disease to bring a more compassionate aspect to a side of humanity that was being demonized by conservators as if it was a "divine punishment". There were two moments on the pop culture aspect on the year 1994 that helped to establish a more human side to the LGBT community at least on North America at least it was to the incursion of Priscilla on the mainstream cinemas as well the exposition of Pedro Zamora life and death to the Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Yet we have to remember that the 1990's was quite intolerant towards the LGBTQ's up to the point that at least in North America on 1996 with the Clinton Administration DOMA was enacted and the next 15 years became a slow but gradual process where education of people about queer issues, educating LGBT youth became a slow but fruitful battle in order to find acceptance that we all humans regards of our identity and or sexuality.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of Desert after 21 years is still fabulous and weighing in because of the thematic of love, rejection, homophobia, transphobia and finding a self of belonging which 21 years later are present in the life of LGBTQ people, their families and allies. Also three reasons why Priscilla worked as it was were because of the writer, the actors as well the setting of the movie.

The idea of watching a trio of drag-queens back in the 90's was almost unfeasible but yet it worked as the next year America had their own failed version named To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (6) as well other movies such As But I'm Cheerleader (7) showed up different aspects about the struggles that people who don't fit in the heteronormative have to face on a daily basis,

Why Priscilla is still fabulous is because of the three main actors who are mostly cast in action roles or within the macho stereotype, but Terence Stamp as in the role of Bernadette Basinger gives the film a deeply meaning about loneliness, finding love and struggling with your persona in a world that can be hostile and yet finding happiness within monotony and showing some vulnerability that it's mostly associated with women in the acting business.
  


References:

1) http://www.glbtq.com/arts/new_queer_cinema.html
2) http://www.revelandriot.com/resources/lgbt-art-history/
3) http://www.cleispress.com/category_index.php?category=Paperback,Classics
4) http://web.archive.org/web/20080309054540/http://www.cefc.com.hk/uk/pc/articles/art_ligne.php?num_art_ligne=6401
5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_Zamora
6) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Wong_Foo,_Thanks_for_Everything!_Julie_Newmar
7) http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/but_im_a_cheerleader/

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