Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Lumby, Catherine. "Music and Camp: Popular Music Performance in Priscilla and Muriel's Wedding." In Screen Scores: Studies in Contemporary Australian Film Music, ed. Rebecca Cole, 78-88. Sydney: Australian Film Television and Radio School, 1998.

ABBA's music is used to negotiate the formation of gay identity in Muriel's Wedding. ABBA's "Dancing Queen" becomes the theme for the main character as she struggles to establish her unique persona in a small town. Muriel is marked by her friends as having outdated taste in music for listening to ABBA while at the same time making her more sympathetic to an urban audience that placed value on retro style and music. Through the use of 1970s popular music, Muriel's Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert established a sense of camp, rather than kitsch, creating the identification with gay counter-culture. Alicia Bridges's "I Love the Nightlife" is used in Priscilla to portray both the town's backwater status and the theatrical nature of the drag queen performance, highlighting the tension between the main characters' identification with gay culture and the unyielding conservative culture of the small town.

Works: Peter Allen and Peter Best: music for Muriel's Wedding (79); Guy Gross: score to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (83).

Sources: Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Bjorn Ulvaeus: Dancing Queen (79); Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus: Fernando (83); Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Bjorn Ulvaeus: Waterloo (83), I Do, I Do (86); Alicia Bridges: I Love the Nightlife (81); Ken Hirsch and Ron Miller: I've Never Been to Me, as performed by Charlene (85); Henri Belolo, Jacques Morali, and Victor Willis: Go West (85); Dino Fekaris and Freddy Perren: I Will Survive as performed by Gloria Gaynor (87).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Film

Contributed by: Kathleen Widden

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