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“This we do for pleasure, so that we may shortly be at the mercy of venomous snakes and poisonous ants. How foolish can human creatures be.”

That’s right, Forrest MillerConan NeutronJ. Andrew World are joined by our Australian friend Renee Ruin of the Night Shift podcast to talk about Peter Weir’s iconic Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Movies that are given credit for vibes are common these days. But nothing touches this one! A wild hallmark of Australian New Wave, made with a really small ($440,000 in 1975) budget which: along with Walkabout, Wake in Fright (and eventually Mad Max) put the country on the map for film after a bit. Also very influential to other filmmakers.

A masterclass of mood and mystery, with diffuse and ethereal looks, this is an undeniably cool film. With a pulsing sense of unease the entire time and visuals that stick with you long after the movie is over. Colonization, class, youth, femininity, sexuality and sexual identity, there’s a lot to dive into here. There’s a lot going on just under the surface here and it allows the film to be a nervy tabula rasa in a lot of ways.

A quintessential Peter Weir film, and one that is easy to revisit again and again. It is also a great example of how a film can be truly wonderful and not be very plot driven. This is no detective story, it’s just soft and subtle foreboding.

For us? We simply would not have climbed up the giant rock with the snakes, poisonous ants, lizards and magnetic field.. but we are built different.

Honestly though, it’s pretty cool what they managed to accomplish here.


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