Three students and a school teacher disappear on an excursion to Hanging Rock, in Victoria, on Valentine's Day, 1900. The movie follows those that disappeared, and those that stayed behind, but it delights in the asking of questions, not the answering of them. Even though both the movie and the book it was based on claim to be inspired by real events, the story is completely fictional.Written by
David Carroll <email@example.com>
While filming on location at Hanging Rock, actress Anne-Louise Lambert (Miranda) had a most surreal encounter. During a break from shooting Lambert went for a walk through the woods. She turned to see Joan Lindsay, author of the novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, stumbling toward her. Lambert said Lindsay then embraced her with strong, joyful emotion and called her Miranda. It was a powerful moment for both of them. See more »
The movie takes place in February 1900, 11 months before the Australian colonies federated and 11 years before the creation of the Australian Capital Territory within New South Wales. When Mrs Appleyard addresses the gathered pupils to communicate the merciful deliverance of their classmate Irma, the NSW map behind nearby Miss Lumley clearly shows the existence of the ACT (defined in red). See more »
What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.
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The Director's Cut released in 1998 (available on Criterion DVD) is seven minutes shorter than the original version. See more »
This film is magnificent! From the storyline, the settings, the atmosphere, the cinematography, the Victorian repression, the music throughout, the sense of the ordinary, the epic and the bizarre all clashing together to make something altogether superb from such disparate parts.
Whether it is supernatural, otherworldly, plain disappearances, a murder scene, or who-knows, no one ever really finds out. And what might seem important, might not be, and what might seem trivial might not be either! It is the imagination made reality on film, and the most dreamy and atmospheric film I have seen.
The fact that it is in Australia as well, at the turn of the century counts for a lot. The story in the movie could be read in countless ways; as symbolic of the horrors and hypocrisy of Victorian society; as a criticism of European ideals imposed on an alien landscape; as the end of one society, that of Victorian, to the beginnings of the modern world we all now live in. It is this that is the crux for me; the appearance of something new from something so old; the old landscape, the passing values of Victorian society, the passing values of class deference in English-speaking societies, and obviously Australia.
There is another thing that gets me about this movie; the down to earthness of Australians up against the bizarre and epic nature of an ancient landscape that refuses to be tamed.
There is for me a sadness in this film, and repression of every kind, but, somewhere, in tiny glints throughout the movie, the future is glimpsed when ordinary people can be free of such repression, and somewhere the story of Oz itself is in this movie. I don't know how or why, but it is! I think! Whatever, I love this movie and can't get it out of my head.
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