How to tell the difference between a positive image and a stereotype: reading Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

McKee, Alan (2000) How to tell the difference between a positive image and a stereotype: reading Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Screening the Past, 9.

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This paper intervenes in critical discussions about the representation of homosexuality. Rejecting the ‘manifest content’ of films, it turns to cultural history to map those public discourses which close down the ways in which films can be discussed. With relation to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, it examines discussions of the film in Australian newspapers (both queer and mainstream) and finds that while there is disagreement about the interpretation to be made of the film, the terms within which those interpretations can be made are quite rigid. A matrix based on similarity, difference and value provides a series of positions and a vocabulary (transgression, assimilation, positive images and stereotypes) through which to make sense of this film. The article suggests that this matrix, and the idea that similarity and difference provide a suitable axis for making sense of homosexual identity, are problematic in discussing homosexual representation.

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ID Code: 41995
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1328-9756
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 La Trobe University
Deposited On: 16 Jun 2011 02:24
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2011 04:05

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