In my thesis I wish to shed light on certain aspects of music and image in terms of their interaction to identity. The Australian film ‘the Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ (1994) is used as a point of departure for a more general discussion. How does music open a space where gender and sexuality can be explored and revealed as an act of staging? This is a central question in my thesis. I also investigate how music can work in an opposing manner, as a tool to limit exploration of identity. In these cases music can lead its listeners towards certain positions that are aligned with those of the mainstream (Kassabian 2001). These two functions of music, one that opens to investigation of identity, and one that narrows it, contrast each other in 'Priscilla', thereby making the film a suitable case-study when wanting to delve into the relationship between music and identity formation.
I have chosen three excerpts from the film, which I do more detailed readings of, scenes that in their different manner shed light on the relation between music and identity. In my readings I draw upon theory from popular musicology, film music theory, film theory and gender and sexuality studies, emphasizing Queer Theory.