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Criterion Collection: Picnic at Hanging Rock [Blu-ray]

Rachel Roberts , Anne Lambert , Peter Weir    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Criterion Collection: Picnic at Hanging Rock [Blu-ray] + Criterion Collection: A Hard Day's Night [Blu-ray] + Criterion Collection: L'Eclisse [Blu-ray]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 100.97


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Product Description

Special Features

Remastered high-definition digital film transfer, supervised and approved by director Peter Weir, with 5.1 surround dtS-Hd Master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extended interview with Weir. New piece on the making of the film, featuring interviews from 2003 with executive producer Patricia Lovell, producers Hal Mcelroy and Jim Mcelroy, and cast members. New introduction by film scholar David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film A Recollection . . . Hanging Rock 1900 (1975), an on-set documentary hosted by Lovell and featuring interviews with Weir, actor Rachel Roberts, and source novel author Joan Lindsay. Homesdale (1971), an award-winning black comedy by Weir. Trailer. PlUS: a booklet featuring an essay by author Megan Abbott and an excerpt from film critic Marek Haltof’s 1996 book Peter Weir: When Cultures Collide; a new paperback edition of Lindsay’s original novel, previously out of print in the U.S.

Product Description

This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir (The Truman Show) on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, Picnic at Hanging Rock concerns a small group of students from an all-female college and a chaperone, who vanish while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing. Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society, Weir’s gorgeous, disquieting film is a work of poetic horror whose secrets haunt viewers to this day.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Set! July 6 2014
By Edmonson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975) is directed by Peter Weir (Gallipoli, The Last Wave, The Truman Show, Master and Commander, Dead Poet's Society, Witness, Mosquito Coast) and based on the novel by Joan Lindsay. The movie was thought to have some historical fact though was essentially written from the dreams of Joan Lindsay. The film is set in 1900s and is about the disappearance of four girls on a picnic at Hanging Rock. The film has a dream like quality at times that blends a subtle form of horror and mystery. This film is often mentioned when discussing the emergence of the Australian New Wave of filmmaking that lasted for about ten years from the early 1970s to the 1980s.

Criterion has done a wonderful job with this release which includes numerous features such as the making of the film, interviews with the director, actors, producers, film scholars, and the author. Also included is an earlier film by Weir called "Homesdale"(1971). There is a booklet featuring an essay by Megan Abbott, and excerpt from film critic Marek Haltof. And remarkably there is also included a nearly 200 page pocket copy of the novel "Picnic at Hanging Rock."
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnifique produit Dec 15 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Un superbe coffret avec la version originale du film que nous nous souvenons tous et non la version coupée de Peter Weir offerte en DVD. Seulement offert en anglais et avec sous-titres. Un film de cette qualité aurait dû être distribué en français et en espagnol à tout le moins.

Des entrevues, des reportages sur les lieux de location du film, des photos complètent ce coffret. Un très magnifique produit à se procurer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Psychological Film Dec 31 2008
By Dai-keag-ity - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Peter Weir greatly improved upon Joan Lindsay's novel of like name (in particular by choosing not to follow her storyline to its controversial "closed secret" ending) in this brilliantly-shot, capably-acted and at times intensely spooky story from 1975. A slow, quiet film, noted for the "intoxicated/otherworldly" quality of some of its imagery, Picnic at Hanging Rock helped establish Weir's reputation on an international scale.

On Saint Valentine's Day, 1900, an outing from Appleyard College, near Victoria, Australia, sets in motion a maddening psychological mystery which follows the disappearance of several schoolgirls in the midst of a picnic at the foot of a famed geological formation locally called Hanging Rock. The girls, led the popular Miranda (played by the strikingly beautiful Anne-Louise Lambert) set off on foot to climb the rock and shortly after reaching the summit of the structure, seemingly vanish from the face of the earth. Weeks of investigation by police and searches by hundreds of locals fail to turn up either the missing girls or any evidence that might suggest an explanation for what may have befallen them. As this frustratingly impossible mystery intrudes into the inner landscapes of those at the college and the local community as a whole, life attempts to continue for those who knew the missing students. Gradually and by degrees the incident at the rock changes (and ruins?) many at the college and beyond, most especially the institution's beleaguered headmistress, Mrs. Appleyard, who takes to drink, and becomes increasingly dictatorial.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is among the more hypnotic motion pictures ever made, and a viewer is soon lulled into a physically relaxed but mentally heightened state as the perplexing turn of events onscreen weaves a dense spell. The scenery Weir employs is simply striking, be it manmade or the natural majesty of the simultaneously immense and claustrophobic Hanging Rock itself. Striking also is the memorable soundtrack, worth listening to in its own right, with Bruce Smeaton's work achieving a near-perfect marriage of sound to image.

Some may react strongly to the conclusion of the film, which I won't further comment on here, but I can't imagine anyone would walk away from Picnic at Hanging Rock feeling unimpressed. It is worth seeing, and if you can find it, worth owning.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie & Moody June 15 2014
By Michael B. Druxman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
Australian director Peter Weir made his first major impression with both film critics and the public with PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, a strange, haunting underplayed horror story. There are no monsters...no ghosts...simply a frightening, sexually suggestive, yarn that remains in a viewer’s consciousness long after the picture has ended.

On Valentine’s Day in 1901, three young schoolgirls and their teacher disappear without a trace while on an excursion to Hanging Rock, a peculiar geological outcropping.

What happened to them? We never find out.

Eerie, moody, the 1975 release is based on a novel by Joan Lindsay and stars Rachel Roberts as the school’s headmistress, Helen Morse as a teacher and features Jacki Weaver as a maid at the school. Russell Boyd’s color cinematography is stunning.

The new 3-disc set (1 Blu-ray/2 DVD) from The Criterion Collection contains a remastered high-definition digital film transfer, supervised by Weir with a 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include an extended interview with Weir, a new featurette on the making of the film, featuring interviews from 2003 with executive producer Patricia Lovell, producers Hal McElroy and Jim McElroy and several cast members. There is also a new Introduction by film scholar David Thomson, a vintage on-set documentary that includes interviews with Weir, actress Rachel Roberts and source novel author Joan Lindsay. Additionally, the set includes HOMESDALE (1971), an award-winning black comedy by Weir.

Printed matter in this impressive set consists of a booklet containing essays on the film and Weir by Megan Abbott and Marek Haltof, plus a new paperback edition of Joan Lindsay’s original novel, which was previously out of print in the United States.

© Michael B. Druxman
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Love This Film, GET THIS EDITION NOW! June 19 2014
By L. Columbus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I can't explain why this film is one of my Top 5 favorites of all time. Maybe it's the beautiful cinematography, the stellar acting, incredibly foreboding atmosphere. Something about it just resonates within me and I find myself getting lost in it's beauty, like when you're just waking up from a wonderful dream and you try to stay in that world just a bit longer. This is a gorgeous Criterion edition, it comes housed with a new edition of the original novel, which I'm looking forward to reading soon. I've taken a few photos of the case and contents, so check the item description above for those, I hope it helps.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great set! June 22 2014
By Edmonson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975) is directed by Peter Weir (Gallipoli, The Last Wave, The Truman Show, Master and Commander, Dead Poet's Society, Witness, Mosquito Coast) and based on the novel by Joan Lindsay. The movie was thought to have some historical fact though was essentially written from the dreams of Joan Lindsay. The film is set in 1900s and is about the disappearance of four girls on a picnic at Hanging Rock. The film has a dream like quality at times that blends a subtle form of horror and mystery. This film is often mentioned when discussing the emergence of the Australian New Wave of filmmaking that lasted for about ten years from the early 1970s to the 1980s.

Criterion has done a wonderful job with this release which includes numerous features such as the making of the film, interviews with the director, actors, producers, film scholars, and the author. Also included is an earlier film by Weir called "Homesdale"(1971). There is a booklet featuring an essay by Megan Abbott, and excerpt from film critic Marek Haltof. And remarkably there is also included a nearly 200 page pocket copy of the novel "Picnic at Hanging Rock."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Criterion Collection Release EVER June 18 2014
By Mrs. Rochester - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
If you are as big a fan of Peter Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock" as I am, you will know that it has been long overdue for the Criterion Collection Blu-Ray treatment. Prior to this release, the only editions available in the U.S. were an older Criterion DVD with no special features (save for the trailer) and many other region DVDs with a wealth of special features that were not playable on U.S. DVD players. I was excited to see that Joan Lindsey's original book is included as a part of this edition, which has been previously out of print and difficult to get a hold of. My only complaint is that there are other special features, such as interviews with the girls who played Irma and Edith, available in different edition DVDs that unfortunately were not included on this DVD, so it is not really a definitive edition. Still, the sound and picture quality are beautiful and pristine and the special features are excellent and informative. This is the best Criterion Collection purchase I have ever made and the first time I am aware of their releasing a book along with a movie. Highly recommended for fans of the novel and film, you will NOT be disappointed.
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