Rating:

The critical recognition of Australia's film industry in the late 1970s can, to a large degree, be credited to the works of Peter Weir. After his first feature, THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS, films such as PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK and THE LAST WAVE exhibited a peculiar and fascinating mystical

quality that revealed a distinctive sensibility. Unfortunately Weir's decidedly personal vision is often rather murky.

PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK recounts the strange story of three girls and a teacher from a Victoria finishing school who go missing from a school picnic while exploring nearby Hanging Rock on St. Valentine's Day, 1900. One of the girls, Edith (Christine Schuler), takes a nap and wakes to find that the

other three, seemingly under a spell, have removed their shoes and stockings to climb higher. They vanish. The police are called in but they are unsuccessful in their search. A young Englishman conducts a search of his own with odd and inconclusive results.

An exceedingly beautiful film, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK seems to aspire to be an existential thriller of some sort. At times the film seems to tread in BLACK NARCISSUS territory with its depiction of barely controlled sexual hysteria and its eccentric lyrical quality. It's all pretty overheated and

underexplained but this arty, vague, and possibly supernatural movie lingers on in the memory.

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  • Released: 1975
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: The critical recognition of Australia's film industry in the late 1970s can, to a large degree, be credited to the works of Peter Weir. After his first feature, THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS, films such as PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK and THE LAST WAVE exhibited a pec… (more)

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