Drag, Dilemmas, and Desert Delights with Philip Bahr

This transcript is computer generated and not edited.

Brad Shreve:

On Queer We Are you won’t hear us focusing on the same shit you hear at the top of the news or read in the headlines that make you angry. I’m a news junkie and I think it’s critical everyone stay in touch with what’s going on…but all the time?
I’m Brad Shreve and each week, guests share how they’re taking action, or explaining how they keep their shit together through it all, or maybe they’ll simply entertain, which is not all that simple.

This episode is a bit different. I have to take a couple of weeks off. Some podcasts will publish and encore edition, or maybe they’ll call it a replay, and that’s okay, but I figure why play something now when you can scroll down your app and hear the original episode. Instead, I asked some of my favorite podcasters to send me one of their episodes so I may share them with you.

What you’re about to hear now is from Reel Charlie Speaks, produced and hosted Philip Bahr. Philip was my guest in May this year, 2023, in an episode titled A Victorious Journey Through the AIDS, which continues to be one of the most popular episodes since this show launched. I’m going to let Philip do the talking, but my brief description of his show is he watches old movies and TV shows that influenced him years ago and he talks about whether they have the same oomph. It’s one of the shows I wait impatiently for every episode

So hold on, because he sent me one of my favorite episodes. His name is Philip Bahr and queer he is.

Philip Bahr:

What hysterically funny film has 8 words in the title? Well, the one that grabbed best costume design at the 1995 Oscars. 28 years later, it’s still filled with bitchy queens fighting and teaching that drag equals outrageous costumes, love, laughter, and a whole lot of fun. Oh, and did I mention those guy Pierce’s abs? We’re gonna have a blast this month. Are you ready? Welcome. You’re listening to Real Charlie Speaks. An LGBTQ podcast spin off of the film and television review blog, Real Charlie. Looking at movies and TV from a gay male perspective, since 2009. I’m your host, Philip Barr.

Each month, I select a classic queer film, television series, or creator I talk about how the subject spoke to me when I first discovered it years ago and how it stood the test of time. Join me now as we begin another episode adventure. So I know you got this one. Of course, I’m talking about the Adventures of Priscilla queen of the desert. Yeah. That’s 8 words. 1994’s Australian film directed by Stephen Elliott who went on to do, I have the beholder 5 years later in 1999. Do y’all remember that? That’s was Ashley Judd and Ewan McGregor.

I just I I had to do this film for several reasons. First of all, I was really in the mood for something fun this month. I just wanted something frothy and, laugh out loud and just celebratory. And it didn’t really dawn on me until I got about halfway through it that I was like, oh my gosh. I picked a drag film. In the middle of this insanity that’s going on in this country right now. The United States is really losing its shit over drag. I don’t need to say any more than that because, if you’re living through this, which we all are, if you’re on the planet and in this country right now.

You know, like, what a horror story this is. So that’s all I’m gonna say about that. I’m gonna jump right into the movie because the movie speaks for itself. So the opening is really sort of mysterious and a little bit sultry. It opens up with a drag performance in a small gay bar in Sydney, Australia. A drag drag performer who we loo later learned to find out. His name is Tick, and he is the, kind of the star of the of the film. Although all three characters that are the lead characters are really sort of equally, equally the star.

Although Ticks, it’s really Ticks journey and the other 2 are supporting and coming along for the ride. But we learn about each of them and learn a lot of each of them throughout the course of the film. So, Ticks start singing this really fun song from the 19 seventies. I’m pretty it was. And at one point, it’s very funny. This, young man, completely in pre drag, just comes up. I probably Cardinal Drag is a better thing because it was red. It wasn’t black.

And just comes up on stage for a very brief moment. Takes the hand of Tick and twirls around and leaves the stage. Now I know that’s kind of like an obscure thing for me start out talking about, but I have to tell you that my personal relationship with drag goes way back to, when I lived in Atlanta post college, I used to go to the drag clubs all the time. The thing about the drag clubs in Atlanta was that they were very hot, and they were up like a cocktail lounge. So you called ahead of time and you reserved a table for you and your friends. You went there, and it felt very sort of fifties rat pack, Frank Sinatra. You walked into the bar with your friends. You gave them your reservation, and they took you to a table.

And then you were served drinks throughout the course of the night. And, you know, you were there at the table to watch the show. So I found very early on that the Queen’s that really paid attention to detail were the ones to really watch and to look out for. Because they were the ones that were really curating their performance to an absolute tee. So this just tiny little touch of the young man doing the twirl and pre drag just reminded me so much of all these just amazing drag queens that I saw in Atlanta way, way, way, way, before, you know, RuPaul, had his drag race. RuPaul actually came out of the drag scene in Atlanta. I’m veering off a little bit from the film right now. But I will say that, I was in Atlanta the same time that Rupaul was up and coming in Atlanta.

And I remember him in the not just I don’t really remember him the drag bars. Actually, what he used to do is he used to go go dance at the new wave club. They’re they’re in Atlanta. And then did, he was doing some sort of, alternative sort of really scrappy films and early videos and things like that. He was also on cable access a lot during that time period. So it was a really fun time to be a part of the of the drag scene, and I really, really enjoyed it. So, so that’s the opening of the film. Priscilla opens up with a very beautiful performance, And then, of course, the comedy happens almost immediately as well.

From there, we jump right into a very poignant moment, sadness. And I feel like that sort of sets the stage for how this film is going to unfold. The film is really a comedy, but there is a lot of serious elements to the film and a lot of, it’s kind of hardcore, life lessons within this film. And yet, all of it is really peppered by sort of the bitchiness of the drag queens between each other and, And then also, of course, the humor and the beauty of the drag performances as well. So very early on, There’s this moment of AIDS reality where, Bernadette, who’s the, so there’s I should back up and say that there’s 2 drag queens and a transsexual woman, and they’re 3 that make up the Buddy road trip movie of this film. And so Bernadette, who’s played remarkably by Terence Stamp, the the acclaimed actor is, Titt calls Bernadette and Bernadette and asks Bernadette how she’s doing. And Bernadette says not very good. Trumpet’s just died.

In trumpet, we find out later on, was Bernadette’s boyfriend. So we have this moment of aids, which, which sort of kicks you in the teeth. You know, it’s 1994. Things are just maybe starting to percolate with a little bit of, help, but not really. So there’s still a lot of uncertainty whether or not people are gonna survive AIDS. So there’s that. And as I said, from the very moment then there’s a funeral scene after this. And and then after the funeral scene, it’s when really the sort of buddy road trip thing kicks in.

They have a gig in Alice Springs. And if you look on Australia’s map, Alice Springs is in the absolute dead center of of Australia. So it’s kind of a Las Vegas sort of town. It’s got, performance space, and it’s but there’s nothing around it. It’s completely surrounded by this arid, just desolate desert, really beautiful to look at, but really difficult to drive through or live in. So we still don’t have any details about why they’re going to Alice Springs, but This is what Tick has has come up with is he has this 4 week gig in Alice Springs, and he asks Bernadette to go on with him to go on along with him. He also asks Adam, who is the young, young sort of gay boy played, again, remarkably by Guy Pierce. And, and so the 3 of them are sort of hooked up together.

Bernadette has no time for Adam. She just doesn’t want anything to do with Adam. Adam is like young and he’s very annoying and he’s really obnoxious. And, he is, kind of the little brother in this road trip movie. In a very, fun, loving and absolutely annoying way. So I wanna just mention because I think this film, more than some other films that I’ve reviewed here on real Charlie speaks, this film really does there are a couple things that pop up immediately that have not aged well with this film. So I wanna get that out on the table because I don’t want people to think that this gonna be an absolute 100% gushing of Priscilla. So the first thing is that very early on in the film, Bernadette’s deadening is revealed, and it’s used against her.

And then later on, I’ll mention it later on. It’s mentioned a couple times, at least 2 more times in the film in a very funny sort of sarcastic, making fun of her way. There’s no way that would get that would get by that would get past any sort of editors today. That just wouldn’t happen. Also, the other obvious thing is that there are 3 straight male actors playing these lgbt characters in this film. And again, you know, that was really sort of, you know, it was the way it was back in 1994. So we have, Hugo Weaving, who I had not mentioned, but Hugo Weaving, who had a huge has had a huge career. You know, he’s been in the matrix movies and, several other things.

So he plays Tick Tarrant’s stamp plays Bernadette and Guy Pierce plays Adam. So the 3 of them are just powerhouse actors. They’re amazing And they did a great job. I mean, there’s no, like, you don’t feel like a hesitation or an awkwardness with any of this. They just they all three of them just sort of like, dove into their characters. And in particular, I have to say, Terence Stance transactional character. He did a great job. But again, 9 1994 versus 2023, nearly 30 years later.

There is no way all three of those actors would have been straight. So fairly early on in the road trip, we discover that Tick has a white in Alice Springs, and everyone when I say everyone, Bernadette and Adam are absolutely baffled by this. But it’s introduced in sort of a very awkward way. And then slowly throughout the movie, the layers are sort of peeled away, and you sort of get an idea of how this happened, why this happened, And it really, it really speaks to it has a very contemporary feel. This part of the story because we’re dealing with sort of, fluid sexuality. We’re dealing with, friends getting together because they want to have a kid together. There’s all sorts of things, and queer people just sort of being queer and not having labels. So, you know, I none of us thought of this back in 1994.

I remember going to this film, The weekend, it was a 1 of the WIG stock weekend. So I had friends that used to come up from Atlanta when I lived in New York City in the 19 nineties, when WIGstock, which is was a huge drag outdoor event every labor day weekend, was in full swing. And, and my friend Rosser would perform as Deandra Peek. If you, if you have any interest in that, you can just Google Deandra Peek. I’ll put it in the show notes as well. But, you can see as he’s he’s got tons of videos on there, and was a really great performer. But anyway, we went to see it in the movies and absolutely fell in love with this. And we had no, like, we were just so grateful to have a drag movie that had gay characters who weren’t, you know, who weren’t murdered at the end or didn’t go straight.

It was just really, really incredible. So, so, yeah, so that whole sort of disclosure happens with Chic and his wife. And actually, the whole idea of the road trip movie is that Tick has is, his wife runs a, an entertainment center, sort of like Las Vegas in, in Alice Springs and Stowe. They’re going there to do kind of to do her a favor, and she’s, giving them a 4 week gig there. So they’re in the middle playing cards on the bus. Oh, I guess I should back up for because I haven’t even talked about the freaking bus, which is crazy. So, so early on, they try to figure out how are they gonna get to Alice Springs And then Adam Fine discovers that his mother, who really wants him to be straight, is willing to buy him a used school box if he or it’s not really a school bus. It’s a used, like, kind of greyhound type bus.

If he, if he possibly can go out on the date with a woman or something, it’s of course, totally ridiculous as most, comedy setups are, but, but it gives them the bus. And then and the bus’s name is Priscilla. So that’s why it’s the venture a Priscilla queen of the desert, the bus’s name is actually Priscilla. So while they’re on the bus, they’re playing cards. And Adam says to Tick, if I win the card game, well, Tick, actually, I should back up. Tick says to Adam, if I win the card game, you’re never gonna talk my wife ever again on this trip. And Adam says, if I win the card game, you’re gonna we’re gonna do what I wanna do. So immediately, they cut to the fact that Adam does win the card game, and he wants the girls to go shopping at this town, this random town that they stop in.

So literally the bus pulls up stops and the 3 of them get out. Bernadette is dressed in in just her normal clothing as a trans woman. But Tick and Adam are dressed up as drag queens. And I’m here to tell you that this is the first indication of the Oscar quality of the cost tooming in this film. You kind of look at the 2 of them as they get off the bus, and you cannot believe how incredible their outfits are, their, their hair. I can’t call it wigs because the hair is not real hair. But you just have to see it to believe it. If if you Google, you know, Priscilla queen of the desert costuming, it’s just unbelievable.

It’s so gorgeous. Also, they stop at the, they stop at this town for for an overnight stay. So they sleep at town. And they stay at this hotel. It’s a really wacky hotel. And this is really the first instance of homophobia that happens to them in the bar. They walk into a bar to have a cocktail, but still in their drag clothes. And, Bernadette as a trans woman, has not her voice has not changed, so she has a very deep voice.

And, she’s still showing beard, which again, like in 2023, they would have hired a trans woman, because it’s it’s it’s said early on that Bernadette’s transition, her full transition happened a long time ago as she she refers to it as the SNP. So, so she would not have a she would her voice would be altered a bit and, she wouldn’t have. She would be much more passable, I guess, is what I’m saying, as a as a cisgender woman. But anyway, there is, There’s this weird moment in the bar where the bar is completely filled with men except for one woman. And the woman comes up and challenges them and says, you don’t belong here. We don’t much her kind here and Bernadette just, like, very calmly as she does throughout the whole film, just turns around and completely lacerate this woman with her language. So I had a moment where I was like, is there a little bit of misogyny going on here? Or is it just that the only cisgender female in the entire bar is the one that’s causing trouble? And I kinda feel like as I’ve thought through this with my 2023 mind, it’s really the second question that I all which is that, it doesn’t really have anything to do with them hating women or anything like that. It really is just that the homophobia was laser focused on them, and the transphobia, I should say, as by this woman.

And so they, of course, bounce back, with her. Also, once again, Felicia calls Bernadette, by her dead name. And this is the first instance in the film that she does it to Bernadette’s face. So there’s a big confrontation with that. And I have to tell you, to be honest that in 1994, I did not understand the whole concept of dead name. To me, this was just like, another part of the script, another part of the story, and it made for some, interesting conflict between the characters. But I didn’t really get the whole concept of the sensitivity of debt fame until, like, maybe 5 or 10 years ago when Transpeople online, we’re really bringing this to everybody’s attention. The next day they wake up and they go to leave and they go to get back on the bus and the bus spray painted in gigantic letters, and it says, aids, fuckers, go home.

So this is a This is really the fir I mean, the homophobia and the Transphobia, the night before, was mild compared to this. This is where everyone watching the movie as viewers get sort of knocked in the head by this by this moment. Because as I mentioned, it’s 1994. So there’s no The met the cocktail has not come out yet. You know, we’re very close to it, but all of us in the world in 1994 had no idea how close we word of that. And so things were still haywire. People were still dying of AIDS. A lot of people, people were still getting sick with with AIDS.

And HIV. And, the general public, especially small town, suburban, or rural, America and and Australia, were really afraid and, really caustic against it. So it’s just, it’s it’s this moment that really is jarring and it’s shocking and it’s gets into your skin and you’re kinda like shivering, from all the hatred and the homophobia and the AIDS phobia. They jump get back on the bus, add them by some paint. They get back on the bus. And then all of a sudden, there is, the second big costume number, which is Adam is on top of the bus while the bus is driving in the middle of the desert, doing, and there’s an opera, song going on, and he’s sort of sitting in there’s a giant, platform shoe, a silver platform shoe, which is gonna be one of the props in their show, and it’s on top of the bus. And he’s sitting in the shoe doing this amazing amazing number, on top of the bus as the bus is driving through the desert. So that sort of balances out the aids fuckers go home.

Then we get a sort of our first glimpse into why Adam is the way he is. He tells a story about his childhood with an uncle, who was, doing things with him. And, so there’s a combination of sort of, like, horror of pedophilia. And then also the fact that this little boy sort of fought back in a very funny way, and it’s sort of shows Adam’s sense of humor, but also his sense of survival. And I think I I really have to commend the the the writers of this film. They weren’t afraid of going there, and showing this as part of the character’s past. I mean, obviously, being molested doesn’t turn you into some one one gender, one sexuality. It happens to all kinds of people, but, but for I would have to say that there are probably a lot of, young gay boys that were that were molested.

So, be cut perhaps because of their, quiet nature, their innocence, or even femininity. Who knows? But, but it shows this and it’s really, there’s no, it’s a very clear cut scene. Like, you know what’s going on. You don’t see anything, of course, but you know what’s going on. The language and the and the the dialogue in the scene is very, explicit, but in, like, a very calm sort of way, which makes it really creepy. So then we get to the point where the bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, which we all knew that was coming because it’s an used bus, and it’s kind of you know, it’s rough. It has seen better days. And, so they break down the middle of nowhere.

Adam decides to paint the bus to get rid of the AIDS fucker go home. AIDS fuckers go home. Bernadette decides that she’s gonna go for help because nobody else is really taking control. And so she takes control of that and Tick decides to practice choreography for the show. So there’s amazing and beautiful dramatic images of Bernadette walking in the middle of the desert, you can tell that this was really filmed on location because, in several scenes, there’s actually flies landing on, Terence Stamps face while he’s doing the scene. So it really is the kind of, like, desolate area that you can imagine it is. She finds someone and then they take off. And then as they’re figuring out, like, what are they gonna do day, this young man sort of appears in the middle of the desert.

And it turns out that he’s from a camp of Aboriginal workers, who are camping out, I guess, close enough by that they notice the bus. So this is where, the first big, number happens. So they have been practicing a number. And then the, young Aboriginal mail comes, And, and then he his name is Alan. He takes them back to their camp and they just they listen to some beautiful sort of indigenous music that some of the guys are doing with, with strained instruments. And then they decide, oh, well, they’ve got to add to it. So they decide to do their I will survive numbers. So they do glory gainers.

I will survive in. And they, of course, show up in costumes, which is great. And then they pull Allen in, as the 4th person at one point. So it’s very, very funny. The next day, they have this guy named Bob who is going to help them with their help them fix the fix the bus, but he needs to take them to his town. So they drive to his town. It’s a small town. And he finds out that, Bernadette is from this very famous, female impersonation group, like back in maybe sixties called lay girl on that.

Bernadette was actually the most famous lay girl. So he begs them to perform in his town in his, like, town bar, which is this really, like, redneck. It’s not a rough kind of, rural sort of, Australian, just just what you’d imagine, with rural Australia. So the girls agree, but Bob’s wife is, is Asian, and she’s, she came with nobody knows her story, but you can you can tell from the way she speaks that she’s not native to Australia. And so she tells them that she also performs and she wants to perform as well. And he’s like, no. No. No.

You’re not gonna perform. There’s a really funny moment in the, after the the boys perform very brief flee. Nobody claps, and then she actually gets out of the house, comes up, and starts performing. Here’s another sort of, awkward, like, does this really survive the test of time moment. This character, she is locked in the house because she is forbidden to perform. She’s been banned from the bar because she is too lewd and, and she just she’s just she’s just from the bar. So it’s a little bit of awkwardness about, like, oh, is this really appropriate for someone to lock their spouse in the house and But it’s all done sort of tongue and cheek as a lot of these movies were back then in preview in previous decades as well. And it all works out fine.

Like, she ends up sort of turning alpha and taking charge of her life, and she ends up leaving him the next day. And just says, like, you can’t, you know, I can’t handle this anymore. I’m leaving because she just wants to do her thing, and she doesn’t wanna be, like, held back by some, you know, husband that’s, that’s a lot nicer of a guy that she wants, she wants to have fun and be playful and, perform. Because she was, she was a prostitute in whatever country that she lived in. They don’t it’s just not really clear from the film. Bob then decides that he’s gonna accompany them to another town called Cooper PD, which is where they’re gonna get car part for the bus. So this sort of propels them to this even further remote town because they’re going way, way out into the desert, as I mentioned, before they get to this isolated little, Mirage called Alice Springs. So this is a mining town everybody works underground.

They blow things up, and then they come up at the night. And it’s just all men, and there’s just one video store in town. And then there’s, like, sort of a a barbecue sort of pit place where they drink beer at night, and that’s it. So Adam decides to take some ecstasy and go find some guys. And, of course, this turns really bad, really fast where the guys figure out that he is a drag queen and not a woman and start chasing him, and they’re they start kicking him, and they’re just about to really mess him up bad when, of course, Bernadette shows up and once again saves the day. Now I love the idea of trans women and drag queens saving the day. But I do have to say that this scene was just a little bit too easy. Of course, I cheer the scene every time I see it because Bernadette just absolutely kicks ass.

But I do think that in real life, like, all these other guys would probably beat the shit out of all three of them, and that would be the end of it. But, again, it’s a really great scene because it’s showing the empowerment of trans women and also of drag So there’s a lovely, lovely moment between Bernadette and Adam, and there’s been no lovely moments between them up up until this point Bernadette thinks that Adam is immature and ridiculous and flighty and Adam thinks that Bernadette is old and stodgy and, and has no sense of humor, but there’s this moment where, you know, Bernadette talks to Adam and says, like, you know, this is you know, I’ve had to do this ever, you know, being a man the one day and a woman the next, I’ve had to really face this kind of hatred cruelty, and we all have to do this. And there’s a there’s a great quote from the from from the film at this point that I’m going to read because I love this so much. Years ago, I actually printed this out because I just thought it was the most beautiful quote. So it’s Bernadette speaking to Felicia. Which is, because, at who’s Adam. That’s Adam’s Drag name. Adam’s in drag back at the hotel room.

They’re safe, but, Adam got really messed up. It’s funny. We all sit around mindlessly slagging off that vile stink hole of a city. But in its own strange way, it takes care of us. I don’t know if that ugly wall of suburbia has been put out there to stop them from getting in. Or us getting out. Come on. Don’t let it drag you down.

Let it toughen you up. I can only fight because I’ve learned to being a man one and a woman the next isn’t the easy thing to do. So that’s the quote. And I just think it’s so beautiful. It talks a lot about how you can have find safety in big cities, which a lot of people have done. And what we’re seeing right now with the whole Drag Queen, you know, the Drag thing and the anti get, you know, don’t gay bills and everything is that there’s a lot of states around the country that are, really, listening to sort of a, an, an, nasty caustic, you know, small mindedness, small majority minority, I should say, small minority of people. To do that. So, you know, this is just really a great moment in this in in the film.

The one great thing that I have to say that the movie does just beautifully. And for 1994, it’s pretty remarkable that it really gives a very clear difference between drag and transsexuals. So even though Bernadette is doing drag, everyone treats Bernadette as a trans woman and as a woman as opposed to when Tick and Adam are out of drag, they are boy. You know, they’re in their boy drag. They’re in their boy clothes. They’re guy clothes. So we get to the resort. Finally, we meet Dick’s wife, Marion, who’s really a hoot, and his son, Benjie, appears as well, who’s really sweet eight year old boy.

And then we get really the biggest number of the film, which is the finally number, C. C. Penison song finally from the 19 nineties. And there are multiple outfit changes during this song, which is, of course, ridiculous because they could never change outfits this many times during one song. They’d have to change outfits in between songs, but they really just showcase the app salute over the top excellence of the costuming and why it won an Oscar. So the second outfit change goes into They they show up in blue and black ostrich outfits. Their headpieces are these tall ostrich heads. Really, really gorgeous Adam manages to look sexy in this outfit.

Tick, of course, looks silly and Bernadette looks absurd. And, they just really play. They’re very playful in this really a lot of fun. The 3rd costume change is sort of a yellow and red reptilian theme. And then finally, they have this sort of ballroom chic costume that they come out in. And, and just, that ends the number and people go crazy in the audience and start cheering clapping, giving them a standing ovation. And meanwhile, Tic has made Marion promise that Benji would be in bed and not see him because he’s really worried. He doesn’t, think Benji understands or knows that he’s gay and that he’s a drag queen.

And it turns out that Benjie actually is in the audience. Marion was lying to him and and Tick ends up fainting. And so they revived Tick, and it turns out that now we know the whole story because one of the reasons why Marion him out there was to sort of reintroduce Tick to Benjie. And then marrying is ready to sort of have some time to herself after 8 years of being with her child. So she wants Dick, who’s the father. To take Benjie just for a couple of months, just, I guess, it’s sort of like a summer vacation kind of thing just so that she can have some time to sort of breathe and catch up. So this is a very interesting turn in the story. And then simultaneously, there is a very gentle sort of burgeoning love affair happening between Bernadette and Bob, which is really shocking because who would have thought that was coming.

They all go out in the picnic the next day together. And, there is a conversation between Tic and Benjie that is so beautiful I have cried during this moment in the film. Every time I’ve seen this over the years starting in 1994, all the way through to last when I watched it again to prep for the podcast. And I have to tell you that this is the moment that every asshole that is against drag and against gay, you know, allowing teachers to say that they’re lgbt to their students in school. This is the this is the scene that they should watch. It’s a conversation between Dick and Benji. Again, Benji’s an eight year old boy. Tick is really awkward as an adult, really awkward.

He doesn’t want to harm Benjie. He doesn’t want to push an agenda on Benji. He doesn’t even know if Benji should know that he’s gay or that he does drag. Benji already knows all these things. Because his mom has been so open over the years. So he and he’s of a pure spirit that none of this means anything. It doesn’t mean it’s good. It doesn’t mean bad.

It just is. So there’s moment between the 2 of them, the dialogue goes like this. So Benjie says, Do you think you’re gonna have a boyfriend when we get back to Sydney? And Tic says to him, as Tic is being shoo Tick Tick is shocked, but Tic says to him, maybe And Benjie, like, looks at him for a split second and says, that’s good. Honestly, this is the absolute sweetest moment in the film. I just can’t even tell you how beautiful it is. You know, it’s really about how Kids are about love. There’s they’re innocent. Adults respect them.

They respect the adults. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful moment. It’s very late in the film. We’re getting close to the end of the film, but it sort of seals the deal. So that Tic can relax. He can welcome the idea of being a dad and taking that back to the gay community in Sydney and not feeling all word about it. So the final thing that they’re going to do, the 3 of them, is that Adam wanted, he’s always dreamed about going up this certain mountain, which is very rocky. It’s a rocky mountain in the middle of the dead in the middle of the the country, in a frock and, and climbing it together.

So they’re all in their frocks and their bloodstones. If you don’t know what blend stones are, blend stones are this really great pull on boots. Sort of, I think we call them Chelsea Boots here in in the US, but the The brand is called Blend Stones, the Australian brand. I wore them for years. I have a I still have a pair of Chelsea Boots that I just got recently. I just love the look at them. This was where I discovered Blundstones was in this movie. I can’t tell you how enamored I was with these 3 actors dressed in beautiful, sort of, I don’t even know what the drag you’d call the drag, but Like, they’re sort of in, like, leotards with, like, jewels hanging off of the leotards, nylons, and then headpieces, beautiful makeup and blend stones.

So the blendstones are, like, so sort of, butch and not femmy at all. And it just makes for this beautiful contrast, and it just made me fall in love. There’s, of course, more fantastic views of the scenery and the desert, which has been you know, a running story, between, you know, throughout the home, the movie, which makes the, topography of Australia, the Australian desert. So much, a part of this film. And, of course, remember this is pre drones, so they were doing beautiful beautiful aerial shot without drone technology. So they get to the very top of the mountain, and Adam says what now? And Ticks says, I think I wanna go home. And Adam responds me too. And Bernadette finishes the conversation by saying, well, then, let’s finish the shows.

And go home. But Bernadette doesn’t stay home. Bernadette ends up taking a job from Marion, and she’s going to stay, and Bob is staying with her. So there’s this possibility that Bernadette and Bob will actually end up being a couple. From that moment, when, Tic and Adam and Benji get into the bus to go back home, Abba song begins. Finally, we get Abba. And it’s just a glorious end to this absolutely beautiful film. The movie is so important now because of the anti drag legislation going on all over the country.

The final scene, this final scene that I just mentioned is just pleat happiness, Ticking at him, perform Abba back in that dumpy little Sydney gay bar that both work in. Benjie is in the audience, on somebody’s shoulders sort of running the lights with the stage hand It’s the absolute definition of how drag is such an amazing form of entertainment, and that is really, really all full of joy. So, I’m so thrilled that I that I chose this, not really thinking it completely through other than, like, oh, I love still, oh, I want something really fun and upbeat for this month. And then halfway through sort of realizing, like, holy shit. We’re in the middle of this, like, horrible thing where people are getting, you know, like, protested and rocks thrown at them and death threat skinned into them for drag queen story hour. And states are doing, don’t say gay bills. And in the middle of all this, is this film from 28 years ago that shows and proves just like drag race proves and every other that drag is a is in a is a fun and amazing, and fascinating form of entertainment that has nothing to do with hatred or you know, grooming people or any of that stuff. So I’m so thrilled to still have Priscilla in my life.

As I mentioned, there are a couple of things that in today’s world probably wouldn’t fly, but they are not dealbreakers for me. This film just is so glorious and so beautiful. I love it. I love revisiting it every couple of years, and I have loved presenting it here. For real Charlie speak. So I wanna thank you all for taking this journey with me. If you haven’t seen this recently, it’s really fun movie to watch. It’s a great movie to watch with other people.

The music, the soundtrack is phenomenal. And just if you watch it, just have a blast and, do it in honor of all the people that are fighting so hard right now to, make this world a sane place and this country to rid this country of all the hatred and the, horrible things that are happening politically in this country. So I send all of you lots of kisses and lots of glitter and drag, and magic for, for your week and your months ahead. I will see you next month. This is Philip R. I’m Real Charley Speaks.

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