Institution (Waltz?)

Obscure prog rock reference aside, I’ve just had a query about Institution and PQD.

Most of the information you need is on the slides, but for clarity, the most important things to remember are:

Stamp PQD PriscillaCasting: Terence Stamp (Wikipedia, IMDB, Guardian interview) would have appealed to an international audience as the big ‘name’ in the cast.

Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Bill Hunter would appeal to the home Australian audience… (Incidentally, click through on the links, especially Bill Hunter’s as it’s an interview from 1994 so fits in nicely with society… and also how casting can work)

Get the casting right, you pull in an audience, your film makes money… or more importantly, your message gains an audience…

Production: What would have been the challenges of producing PQD? Especially at that point in history and against the prevailing social background (fear of AIDS, homosexuality was still frowned upon, and so forth)… would it have been easy to get the necessary finance for the film without the likes of Stamp/Hunter on board?

Look at the respective credits for the two main producers, Al Clark and Michael Hamlyn. One has a background in drama (including the critically acclaimed adaptation of 1984), the other is known for music videos… how might these backgrounds have helped producing PQD?

The production companies involved include the New South Wales Film & Television Office who have a specific remit to promote film-making and as such help subsidise ‘edgier’ subject matter.

Marketing: Look again at the 5 posters for the film included in the slides… can you see how each is designed to appeal to a different audience (mostly through the choice of anchorage — either quotes form reviews, or specific blurbs). This is all part of creating a ‘buzz’ around the film, and so encouraging people to want to go and see it.

Finally… read this Guardian article about the 20th Anniversary of Priscilla. It contains this rather useful paragraph that neatly sums up PQD’s main message and why the film was so important:

“That’s just what his country needs,” Bernadette scoffs. “A cock in a frock on a rock.” And, actually, that was just what the country needed: an intelligent and entertaining Australian film that embraces LGBT culture without turning turning a quintessentially personal story into an exercise in outrage-pedalling and button-pushing.

Being realistic, Institution is unlikely to be the stem for Q1, but if you swot up on the above, you would be able to tackle it if it did. 🙂

PS: Don’t overlook the money

PPS: Check your spelling!

  • Stephan Elliott
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (PQD)
  • 1994
  • Australia

PPPS: The aria is called Sempre Libera, it’s from Verdi’s La Traviata and the translation of the lyrics is as follows:

Free and aimless I frolic
From joy to joy,
Flowing along the surface
of life’s path as I please.
As the day is born,
Or as the day dies,
Happily I turn to the new delights
That make my spirit soar.

Love is a heartbeat throughout the universe,
mysterious, altering,
the torment and delight of my heart.

Oh! Oh! Love!
Madness! Euphoria!

If that doesn’t sum up Adam/Felicia/Guy Pearce’s character, then what does! 😉

PPPPS: Can you tell I’m going OTT as I want you all to do well?

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