Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a period drama-mystery film directed by Peter Weir in 1975 and it adapted from the novel of the same name that was written in 1967. The film stared; Anne-Louise Lambert Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse, Kirsty Child and Dominic Guard.

The film was a bizarre mix of period drama from the 1900’s and a strange sense of science-fiction mystery. Though the mystery was left open at the end of the film for the viewers to conclude for themselves, though this was a gamble for weir as the American audience didn’t respond well to the film, Weir recalls one reaction to the film’s ending: "One distributor threw his coffee cup at the screen at the end of it, because he'd wasted two hours of his life - a mystery without a goddamn solution!".

The Film opens with the statement: “what we see and what we seem is nothing but a dream... a dream within a dream” It could hint to what happens in the film, that the whole experience is nothing more than imagination, a scary imagination, but this could be a ‘red herring’ hat the films o happily throws all the time to misguide viewers

Hints and ‘red herrings’ are thrown all about the film. During the first scene at hanging rock, every one’s watches stop at twelve, they do again at the end of the film, where Mrs. Appleyard finds out that Sarah has committed suicide- though she was already in mourning clothes.

(Above: Mrs Appleyard in her mourning clothes just before she finds out about Sarah’s death)

As the coach carrying the girls passes a near-by town, they seem out-of place boys chasing the cart in a playful manor, but they also seem to chase them out-of-town as onlookers stare at the girls.as they reach Hanging Rock the four girls who leave to explore, (Miranda, Marion, Irma and Edith) and while on the mountain, Miranda says: “except for thoughs people down there… we might be the only living creatures in the world” which is a rather strange, but curious thing to say, especially since the next scene was the girls were covered by ants and lizards. change appearance- all but Edith who leave all her clothing on and seems more reluctant to climb the mountain, while the others who remove their hats, stockings and shoes seem enchanted and in a mesmeric trance, this could be explained as the girls were covered in Ants and reptiles while sleeping in the sun, on the mountain.

Miranda unconscious with a skink by her arm. Here she looks almost dead, as if she collapsed and never woke up and is letting the animals, sun and wind take her.

As they wake, Edith- the only one who doesn’t seem to be affected by the mountain is left standing screaming “Miranda! “Miranda! When are we going home?” in hopes of trying to coax her friend out of the trance, though to no avail. It seems that Miranda ‘glides’ over the landscape, in an almost ‘drugged’ like state of whimsies and uncaringness.

Miranda wondering in the chasms of the mountain trying to reach the top