A Recollection: Hanging Rock 1900

This is an on-set documentary. It's 26 minutes long. The starting part has images of the rock with voice-overs of the girls from Picnic at Hanging Rock talking.

The woman talks about Joan Lindsay's book Picnic at Hanging Rock. She says the film has now been made into a movie by Peter Weir. It shows the three girls walking, almost hypnotized, further up the rock while Edith screams and runs away. (One of the main questions is exactly why did Edith scream? She must have seen something perhaps frightening that would cause her to do that.)

Peter Weir talks about his interest in mysteries such as the Marie Celeste. He says the book created a sense of unease. The book answered some questions but posed others. He says the Rock sort of looks like a castle. Joan Lindsay was on the set.

Joan Lindsay says the rock doesn't exactly welcome people and it's spooky.

There's a Hanging Rock race track for horses. Many of the places in the book are based on real places that Joan Lindsay knew about and/or visited.

The narrator says the story is of an English tradition transplanted to the other end of the world. She notes the traditions were very rigid. (Also remember this is school for upper-class girls.)

The woman who played Mrs. Appleyard says she doesn't necessarily doesn't like the character but admits she admires her spirit. It then shows the conversation between Michael and Albert when Michael says he's going to stay overnight at the rock. (Not thinking, of course, that food and water might possibly help him.)

Also keep in mind that the police and other searchers had already been all over the area without finding the girls or the teacher.

The narrator talks to the man who played Michael in the film.

Peter Weir says that the movie had to deal with things as a period story yet also as a contemporary story. This was the idea that, once the person say the film, it might have left them with the belief that something might happen to them that would be inexplicable.

One production problem was to pay attention to the smallest detail. The narrator also talks to the producers and how they worked to get everything correct to the time.

The narrator then talks about Martindale Hall which passed as Appleyard College. The actress who played Mrs. Appleyard says she found the building depressing inside. They also had to find girls that had the 'elegance and breeding' that the girls in the book possessed.

Most of the girls were part of the privileged elite but Sara was not having been in an orphanage.

Peter Weir says the line between truth and fiction is blurred for him. Joan Lindsay says people have to work out what is truth for them.

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