Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
On Saint Valentine's Day in 1900, the female students at a private Australian school are given permission by their stern headmistress to travel to an ancient volcanic outcropping for an afternoon picnic. The beautiful day turns into a nightmare when a few among them, including the beautiful and enigmatic Miranda, vanish without explanation on Hanging Rock.
Read any review for Peter Weir’s mesmerising masterpiece, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and you will see the words haunting, dream-like and enigmatic appear time and again. They are vague and uncertain descriptions but perfectly apt for a film that is elusive, ambiguous and rich in symbolism, complexity and interpretation. I have watched the film numerous times over the years (this, my first viewing in high-definition) and every time I am surprised by the new things I find, the new interpretations I dream up and the mixed emotions the film manages to evoke.
On Valentine’s Day in 1900, a school trip to Victoria’s Hanging Rock turns to disaster when three students and their teacher disappear without trace. Whilst sounding like the…
A film that is highly praised by many unfortunately I do not belong to this group! While I enjoyed the scenery and the illusion that something mystical or something beyond this world may or may not be involved was for the most part semi intriguing but in the end there just wasn't enough substance to grab me!
Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock is a mystical and beautiful film that I failed to connect to completely.
Set in Australia in 1900 and centred around a real life mysterious disappearance of three girls and one teacher, it explores the nature of said disappearance and the effect it had on the school and the community.
The first act had me glued to the screen. The attention given to creating a convincing depiction of the time period is something I always respect and admire. When the group of young women arrive at the rock for the picnic, Weir manages to create a sense of unease and mystery that transfixes and intrigues. He almost makes the rock a character, a mystical force…
"This we do for pleasure, so that we may shortly be at the mercy of venomous snakes and poisonous ants."
The above quote from Picnic At Hanging Rock is the type of device that you see used a lot in mystery and thriller films especially, and it's a device I don't much care for.
It's usually such an unsubtle and clumsy way of setting up some drama to come, usually the antithesis of what is being stated by way of wanting to prove that character and his or her thoughts wrong, quite often as a method as marking them out as an antagonist. In a film like this, such a technique should be maddening as this is quite clearly not…
I've had this one on my radar for a loooong ass time. The plot was always interesting to me (schoolgirls go missing at a mysterious natural location) but the combination of it being hard to find and my crippling laziness always came in tween me and the film
I finally watched Picnic at Hanging Rock tonight and while it wasn't everything I hoped it would be as a whole, it still turned out to be as mysterious as I expected.
The plot, like I mentioned above, centers around a group of young women from the Appleyard College who take a much anticipated field trip to a natural…
L'Avventura in the Outback, all sweltering repression that bursts from the edges and suggests that the only ways to deal with it in such a society is to be halfway institutionalized or to vanish off the face of the Earth altogether.
Starts off slow but becomes a pretty interesting film.
It's beautifully shot and well acted the film has this strange quality to it that's impossible to describe.
Sort of a dreamlike surreal vibe that kept me intrigued.
It's a mysterious film that can be tedious but ultimately i find it to be a rewarding experience.
Una de las películas más inesperadamente terroríficas que he visto. ¿Quién iba a decir que algo en apariencia tan bello podría esconder tantos horrores? Y lo mejor de todo es que ni siquiera llega a hacerlos evidentes. El horror está en cada gesto, en cada reacción, en todos los supuestos de lo que pudo haber pasado en ese día de campo de 1900. En el ambiente. En el viento. En los gritos espantosos de la niña gorda. En la profesora desaparecida, en la directora del colegio. En la piedra. Es como si uno viera una obra impresionista y bajo todo ese color y la alegría y lo cotidiano de la época, se escondieran terribles secretos y dolores sugeridos. Espantos que…
Weird, beautiful, and deeply unsettling. I'm still not sure what to make of it.
Best. Score. Ever. So powerful.
More than any of the imagery or music or mood of this film, the most disturbing moment is definitely when the doctor says (twice), "It's quite intact." In David Thomson's introduction on the Blu-Ray, he states how the film illuminates a different theme for different people. For me, I connected with the following idea: men will go to great lengths to preserve the purity of their women, and ultimately want to control how they use their bodies.
Period drama gone Weir'd.
Shout-outs to young Jacki Weaver and John Jarrett!
This was a beautiful, moody, haunting film. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, and the pan flute soundtrack is perfectly chosen for the otherworldly ambiance of Hanging Rock. This is a film about repression and freedom, dreams and nightmares, of time moving and standing still. It has a sort of magical realism quality to it, and what should be the nightmare doesn't feel like it is one, while what should be reality feels like it might be the nightmare. It's not so much about the disappearances as it is about those who are left behind, less about the mystery than how others deal with the mystery.
I'll readily admit it's not for everyone. It's a slow film, with a lot of symbolism and atmosphere but not a lot of action. The ending doesn't tie up anything or solve the mystery. Of course, not all mysteries are ever solved. Recommended for art film lovers.
I don't know if this is a 4 or a 4.5 but im making it a 4 on here to be safe
One of the most hauntingly beautiful movies I've ever seen. The Criterion blu-ray looks wonderful and includes the novel on which the movie is based. Highest recommendation, an indelible classic.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…