Monday, 12 May 2008

Film as Art?

Recently I watched the beautiful film Picnic at Hanging Rock. A group of schoolgirls go on a school trip, where three of them and one of their teachers vanish in mysterious circumstances. The rest of the film deals with the repercussions of their disappearance on everyone around them and the viewer is left to come to their own conclusions about what happened.

This in itself has spawned plenty of discussions and theories about the true solution, many people still believing that the story is based on true events. After the author's death, the final missing chapter was published in which a 'solution' was given, however this solution does not satisfy most readers/viewers because it was obviously left unfinished and unedited.

There are plenty of interesting themes within the movie; Miranda as a swan, the concepts of time and fate, Victorian repression which all make it a movie worth watching. However what made me love it so much was the sheer beauty of the cinematography, which just captured me and often meant I was not listening to what the characters were saying.

Perfectly evoking the mood within the college in one shot

Hanging Rock: does it look like a face to you too?

One moment you see Miranda; look away and she's transformed to a swan. Magical!

Possibly my favourite; Irma's return dressed in red

One of the most haunting shots in the film

The relatively recent revelation that most of the main voices were dubbed by professional actors who were given no credit upset some (a very interesting article about the 'Unseen Voices') , but I don't think the dialogue or the acting are at all what make this film what it is.


  1. Ooh, that's one of the many films I've never seen (including ET, Top Gun, The Godfather, Gone With the Wind...Oh dear!). I'm glad you warned me that it's one of those 'no proper ending' films. Like many a French film and Hitchcock's The Birds, I find films like this rather perplexing, but if the cinematography is amazing then of course it's worth seeing!

  2. Hmm, out of your list I've only seen Gone With The Wind, which I did love! Go see!

    I normally dislike no proper ending films too. Sometimes I wonder if the writer couldn't think of one themselves, but in this case I wasn't particularly interested in what the ending was, so...

  3. Love that film and even though it is overused as a fashion editorial influence, I still love whatever photographers/stylists do with that film...

  4. Stuck the wrong URL there... this is Susie Bubble from Style Bubble

  5. Susie, I think we've both caught the wrong URL bug today!

    I've never noticed an editioral inspired it, but then again I only recently watched it.

  6. I want to see this so badly now. Thanks for the write-up.