Peter Weir is probably the director whose work I enjoy the most, and Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of his best films. They’re not all as enigmatic as that one, but they are all unique, and most of them are quite good. You might also try The Last Wave, The Year of Living Dangerously, and my personal favorite of his, Fearless. The latter is one of my favorite films ever made, perhaps the favorite.
Yes… Master and Commander is also a Peter Weir movie, though I’m ashamed to say I haven’t yet seen it. The night I wanted to see that, my wife was bound and determined to see The Last Samurai. :rolleyes:
Hmmmm, it’s been a while since I’ve seen "Hanging Rock,’ but didn’t the headmistress have some unspoken grudge against the orphan girl? Throughout the story, she singles the orphan out for cruel punishments and her irrational dislike of the girl only grows worse after the mysterious disappearance of the girls. I think the headmistress went over the edge and pushed the girl out the window, which would explain the mourning clothes.
Just my personal interpretation (the movie does lend itself to that!), but I always assumed it was a vaguely homophobic reaction by the headmistress; she had (for that time) inexplicable “carnal thoughts” about the girl, couldn’t deal with them, and blamed the girl herself for “causing” the thoughts. It would fit in with the subtext of the film - the “mystery” of women’s sexuality (the adolescent girls rip off their ‘drawers’ and disappear after passing through a phallic-shaped rock opening, etc.)
BTW, Cecil did a column on “Picnic at Hanging Rock.” The search engine for column archives is running a bit slow, but when my computer finally drags it up, i’ll post the url.
Love this movie. I watched again today, also.
I hate that headmistress. She’s my ideal of a villianess.
It’s almost like in the beginning when she’s warning them of the dangers, she’s willing it to happen.