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Three students and a school teacher disappear on an excursion to Hanging Rock, in Victoria, on Valentine's Day, 1900. Widely (and incorrectly) regarded as being based on a true story, the movie follows those that disappeared, and those that stayed behind, but it delights in the asking of questions, not the answering of them. Written by
David Carroll <email@example.com>
In casting the pupils of Appleyard College, director Peter Weir ended up searching for unknown girls from outside the cities, looking for the right "innocent faces" to fit the film. However, that meant that apart from Anne-Louise Lambert, none of the other girls had any acting experience, and their amateur performances meant Weir had to cut out much of the dialog. See more »
Although accurately following the book (and a good indication that this is indeed a fictional story), to make the days & dates actually match up you need to either move to 1903 or 1874, as those are the closest years that had Feb 14 on a Saturday (and March 27 on a Friday) See more »
What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.
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I have experienced it several times that people tend to expect "Picnic at Hanging Rock" to unfold like a detective story, while it is not one, in any respect. This movie belongs to another type, to the mystery genre, and possibly stands as the finest example of a film of this kind. The main purpose of such films is to contemplate The Unknown and Peter Weir copes with that excellently. What counts most here is the atmosphere, and the focus is more on hidden emotions than on the pacing (some say that the problem with "Picnic" is that it's boring - i don't think so but I guess it depends much on your sensitivity and approach). Most fascinating thing here is possibly the way the Rock is depicted - it appears as self-conscious entity, alive in a sense which is beyond Western logic. This, I think, is the key aspect of the story, because what it really is about is the conflict between the Culture and the Nature. And don't let this put you off as 'too philosophical'. Picnic at Hanging Rock, while not being a crime story, can be involving as one
if you help this to happen, of course. If you do, you might have a
lot to think about when the credits start to roll. It can happen, though, that you will be dying to see them roll - there are no movies that appeal to all of us. Then, at least, you could enjoy the set design, photography and ancient beauty of wild Australia.
Give it a try. It's worth it. 8/10
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