Sunday, August 31, 2008

Picnic at Hanging Rock..

Yesterday I finally saw Peter Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975). The film has been on my radar for a long, long time, but I never got around to seeing it. After Rue Morgue named Joan Lindsay's 1967 novel as "must read" I figured it was time to move the film to the top of the Netflix queue. I am so glad I did because this is a really creepy film. And while it is not "scary," it did give me nightmares all night long. I didn't sleep worth a shit.

This is the actual Hanging Rock in Australia. I was under the impression that this was based on a true story, which is what Joan Lindsay and the filmmakers want you to believe. It is not. She wrote the book as a "false document" and refused to confirm or deny that the story was true her whole life. Set in 1900, it is about a group of schoolgirls who go for a day trip out to Hanging Rock. Three of them, along with a chaperone, don't return. A week later, one of the girls is found in the rocks, asleep with no memory of what happened. And that is it. No explanation, no answers. It is really unnerving. Anyway, my nightmares consisted of possible explanations of what happened to the girls. And they went on all night. What is cool is that the novel became an obsession of sorts for other writers, and there was actually a book published a few years ago of possible explanations. Lindsay herself wrote an "ending" to the novel with an answer to what happened to the girls, but wisely took it out before the book was published. Three years after her death the 6 exorcised pages were published. Anyway I spent all morning checking it out on the Internet, and the best site I found is, or course, from some Ghost Hunters.

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