filmclub 08.2: Picnic at Hanging Rock

February 8, 2008 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Director Peter Weir‘s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) is creepy. It’s not just Zamfir‘s pan-fluting, ominous nature (flies, lizards, birds, rocks), or the missing teacher who looked funny, but some amalgam of the above that steadily insists on the dread of a malignant landscape. The effect is Lovecraft without tentacles.

Let’s talk bodies: I pride myself on an activist esophagus, but when my head worries sleep away with mountain-mons pubis there’s something Lo/Lola/Lolita in the off(er)ing. Accumulation is what’s hanging here. Young Victorian women, creepy and beautiful teachers, things the viewer doesn’t see–a whiff of musk is it? From a rock?

Yet Picnic manages sexy without being erotic. The film is silently strident: sex is here, but you won’t get it. The viewer remains intact. Emmanuelle at hanging rock would be unambiguous (as Raccoon notes, the film seems always ready to go there), but Weir’s worries are content to play the sexual periphery for all its unanswered worth. Quite a spread.


Entry filed under: thurs afternoon. Tags: , , .

latest polls ah, naturalism!

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