By the Book
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Directed by Peter Weir • 1975 • Australia
Starring Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse
This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Based on an acclaimed 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is set at the turn of the twentieth century and concerns a small group of students from an all-female college who vanish, along with a chaperone, 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.
Up Next in By the Book
The American Friend
Directed by Wim Wenders • 1977 • Germany
Starring Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz
Wim Wenders pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir with THE AMERICAN FRIEND, a loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel “Ripley’s Game.” Dennis Hopper oozes quirky menace as an amoral American a...
Directed by Larisa Shepitko • 1977 • Soviet Union
Starring Boris Plotnikov, Vladimir Gostyukhin, Sergei Yakovlev
The crowning triumph of a career cut tragically short, the final film from Larisa Shepitko won the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival and went on to be hailed as one of the ...
Directed by Martin Rosen • 1978 • United Kingdom
Starring John Hurt, Richard Briers, Michael Graham-Cox
With this passion project, screenwriter-producer-director Martin Rosen brilliantly achieved what had been thought nearly impossible: a faithful big-screen adaptation of Richard Adams’s classic...