Critical Condition: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock | SoHo, 8.30 Sunday (encore 7.30 Tuesday) 

➢ “It’s an audacious undertaking to reimagine a story as vividly cemented in collective memory as Picnic at Hanging Rock. Not only was Peter Weir’s 1975 film one of the canonical works of the Australian New Wave, it planted the eerie mystery in the popular imagination with such enduring force that the fictional story first told in Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel carved out a permanent place in national folklore. There are probably people who still believe it was based on actual events. So hats off to the creators of this glossy six-part TV adaptation for departing decisively from the original model with a bold plunge into 21st-century genre waters.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “From the dazzling, colour-saturated first frame of Foxtel’s ambitious reimagining of Picnic at Hanging Rock, this original, world-class production is quite literally, gold. Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer — shrouded in black lace and with her back to camera for the first, tantalising six minutes of the opening episode — casts an almost instantaneous spell on the viewer … And just as the Weir movie was groundbreaking for the local film industry in its day, this remarkable six-part TV drama takes extraordinary risks — from experimental camera angles and a soaring soundtrack, to costumes and cinematic styling that, at times, takes the viewer down the rabbit hole, Alice In Wonderland style.” —

➢ “It doesn’t take long for writers Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison to make the case for their own 2018 Picnic, a darker, more mysterious, and extended version that manages to feel updated for our time while still keeping the original 1900 setting … It’s a testament to the writers (and perhaps some of viewers’ own projections) that this period piece feels weirdly contemporary at times … For many, Picnic at Hanging Rock might be a retreading of an already-great story. But even if you’ve seen it already, the television adaptation makes the case for another, closer look.” — Variety.

➢ “It takes no time at all for the first episode to lay down a series of markers that establish its difference from Weir’s 1975 film. For a start, the girls – who function largely as a structuring absence in the movie that effectively launched the ‘new wave’ of Australian cinema – are strong presences here. The framing of shots, use of a bold colour palette – so very different to the David Hamilton-inspired soft-focus approach of Weir’s film – and the driving soundtrack (by Cezary Skubiszewski), again very much at odds with the lyrical pan-pipes of the movie, all establish this as a new beast entirely.” — The Age.

➢ “It’s impossible to call it after only one episode, but the Picnic at Hanging Rock redux appears to belong to the upper crust of the movement. It’ll take more than a single ep to get a grip on where it’s going thematically, but the writing on the wall suggests the striking contemporary style will meaningfully add to an old, well-probed text (and vice versa). And hot damn, the show looks amazing. It’s a blast to watch it teeter on the brink between atmospheric excellence and stylistic overkill – for now, at least, keeping on the good side of the divide.” — The Guardian.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply