Film: Picnic at Hanging Rock
A classic Australian mystery/drama film, released in 1975 and directed by Peter Weir.
Set in 1900 and based on the novel by Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock
tells the story of an ill-fated outing undertaken by Australian schoolgirls enrolled at an exclusive finishing school. Students of Appleyard College are permitted to spend Valentine's Day at Hanging Rock, collecting information for an essay to be written upon their return. After being granted permission by their French mistress, Miranda, Marion, Irma and Edith set off to explore the upper slopes of the rock. Wandering through the maze-like tunnels, Edith discovers that the others appear to have fallen into a trance; the trio have, as one, removed their shoes and stockings, and proceed to drift into another narrow passage. Fearful, Edith runs back to fetch help, Mathematics mistress Miss McCraw heading up to fetch them. However, teacher and students disappear without a trace.
The film features visually hypnotic photography by Oscar winner Russel Boyd and a haunting score by Bruce Smeaton, and established Weir as a major International talent.
This film provides examples of: