DRESS UP: Picnic At Hanging Rock

“Horror need not always be a long-fanged gentleman or a dismembered corpse. It may be a warm sunny day, the innocence of girlhood and hints of unexplored sexuality that combine to produce a euphoria so intense it becomes transporting.” — Vincent Canby, on Picnic At Hanging Rock

Even though summer has technically left the building, Peter Weir’s delirious Australian favorite gives us ample cause for a lazy-day picnic vibe under the cover of darkness — so comb your closets for your best crisp whites, and come billow across the landscape for an ethereal October DRESS UP party. This ode to female adolescence, a fragile miniature masterpiece blanketed with a New Age score and natural sound effects that add immeasurably to its intoxicating atmosphere, concerns the aftermath of an expedition by a repressive turn-of-the-century girls’ school to a wondrous natural volcanic formation called Hanging Rock. Three girls and a teacher vanish without a trace, sending the other students into a state of near hysteria — and unprepared viewers need to steel themselves, for the film gleefully presents a mystery which in many ways it refuses to solve.
Dir. Peter Weir, 1975, 35mm, 115 min.

Watch the trailer for “Picnic At Hanging Rock”!