o/t: it’s Tuesday? must be time for another Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Films

In this week’s bumper roundup of movie articles/reviews from the intertubes, the one that stuck out for me was a truly spiffy essay by Megan Abbott on Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock. I can still remember that feeling of how completely bowled over I was when I first saw it, decades ago, and that I still experience all over again each time I rewatch it: whatever else Picnic may be (and it’s a lot else), it’s among the best fantasy movies every made, in that Weir unerringly put his finger upon one of the things that make fantasy literature and cinema so compelling . . . the sense of there being something around the corner, just not quite yet visible to you, that is truly marvelous, truly incomprehensible. We never do solve the mystery of what happened to the girls, and that’s what the solution is.

The Joan Lindsay novel upon which the movie is based, and which shares that same enigmatic shine, is well worth reading, as is Yvonne Rousseau’s brilliant commentary/gloss/subversion The Murders at Hanging Rock.

4 thoughts on “o/t: it’s Tuesday? must be time for another Todd Mason’s Tuesday’s Overlooked Films

  1. PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is an absolute masterpiece John. The greatest Australian film ever made and a film that bowled me over much in the same way that you were bowled over!

    Looks like another great round-up here! 🙂

    • Well, there are lots of other good Australian movies (such as 2010’s Red Hill https://noirencyclopedia.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/red-hill-2010/), so I wouldn’t have quite the same certitude that this is the best ever; at the same time, I’m having difficulty thinking of one to match it.

      What surprises me is that Anne Lambert didn’t go on to become an international megastar. To be sure, she’s been by no means an idle actor, but I assumed after seeing Picnic for the first time that she was going to be The Next Big Thing. It never happened, and that’s always puzzled me.

  2. Here are some that certainly must be spoken of when considering the best Australian film:

    Breaker Morant
    The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
    Wake in Fright

    • I’d add Red Hill (which is on this site), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Dead Calm, Dark City (the 1998 movie, which an Oz/US coproduction), Kiss or Kill (a guilty pleasure of mine), Lantana (a major achievement by anyone’s standards, I’d say!), FernGully: The Last Rainforest . . . and lots more! I really ought to try to watch more Oz cinema.

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