Last Featured: July 12, 2017
On Valentine’s Day in 1900, while on a picnic at Hanging Rock, three young women, along with their teacher, disappeared. High in the crags of the rock, they left no trace. This is their story.
On Valentine’s Day in 1900, while on a picnic in the shadow of Australia’s magnificent Hanging Rock, three young women, along with their teacher, disappeared. High in the crags of the rock, they left no trace. Peter Weir’s 1975 classic Picnic at Hanging Rock tells their story.
From the beginning, it’s clear that something threatens this world of cotton sundresses, day hats, and school drills. As the girls lie and nap languidly in the sun, not far off, the wilderness waits. Four of the girls receive permission to go explore the rock face on their own. Once away from the others, they peel off their black stockings and press on to climb as high as they can.
What makes Picnic at Hanging Rock such a compelling mystery is that it offers us so few leads. During an early screening, one distributor allegedly expressed his frustration by throwing his coffee at the movie screen. But for film lovers who appreciate the subtlety of suggestion—a flash of light, a possibly ominous line of dialogue—this mystery is truly satisfying.
Moving beyond a whodunit, it makes us ask bigger questions, like how and why? And, did something sinister even happen at all?