Twenty years after it swept Australia into the international film spotlight, Peter Weir’s stunning 1975 masterpiece remains as ineffable as the unanswerable mystery at its core. A Valentine’s Day picnic at an ancient volcanic outcropping turns to disaster for the residents of Mrs. Appleyard’s school when a few young girls inexplicably vanish on Hanging Rock. A lyrical, meditative film charged with suppressed longings, Picnic at Hanging Rock is here available in a pristine widescreen director’s cut. —The Criterion Collection
Known for making moody, complex dramas that often focus on the emotional struggles of men caught up in social change and/or upheaval, Australian director Peter Weir is regarded as one of the most solid directors in both his native country and in Hollywood. His many accomplishments include making vehicles that promoted such stars as Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Robin Williams, and Jim Carrey into the realm of “serious” acting, something that further established Weir as one of the foremost interpreters of the inner lives of men.
The son of a real estate agent, Weir was born in Sydney on August 21, 1944. After giving his father’s business a try, he spent time traveling around Europe. Upon his return to Australia, Weir secured a job with the Commonwealth Film Unit, where he learned his craft on the sets of documentaries and educational films. He made his directorial debut in 1971 with Three to Go, an effort that went largely unnoticed by audiences and critics alike. His next feature… read more
Voyager: The Films of Peter Weir opens today at the Walter Reade Theater in New York and runs through the weekend. In the Voice, Nicolas
Cheap to fund, digitally shot portraits of everyday life compose the heart and soul of contemporary American independent film. But when a director
From the soft, hazy photography to the eerie score and pace, it’s clear that Weir’s intent is to hypnotize the audience. And this film is nothing if not spellbinding. The uniquely Australian themes… read review
There are two scenes in PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK that give it a dated 70s horror punch that pulls me out of the film’s artful mood. It’s something in the editing and the sound and yet I’m easily lulled… read review