(1hour 55 mins)
Starring Rachel Roberts and directed by Peter Weir, the 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock is an adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s 1967 book, arguably one of the most important Australian novels of all time. The ethereal opening sequences focus on the inexplicable disappearance of three girls and a mistress on an innocent school outing in 1900. The film goes on to explore the repercussions of this, setting Victorian morality, values and hypocrisy against a gothic Australian background, enhancing the sense of “other” ness and the supernatural. There are parallels with today’s society – press intrusion, mass hysteria, mob rule and alienation – and with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, where a similar unravelling of society creates a climate of other worldliness.
‘has a hypnotic spell’ The New York Times
‘a legend that went viral well before the word as we know it existed’ (2014) The Guardian
With thanks to Campden Film Society