Sunday, March 13, 2011

just a wild rambling rose, seeking mysteries untold, no regret for the path that i chose

Being back in the warm Texan weather reminds me that in a world outside of the snow-buried New York landscape, spring is fast approaching. And with spring comes my insatiable desire for beautiful, light, white dresses. A few weeks ago, my bloggy-friend JessM did a post on the dreamy, angelic style of the Lisbon sisters, whose 1970s style is so lustworthy. Thinking about beautiful seventies style, my mind travels to the 1975 Australian film, Picnic at Hanging Rock. The film tells the story of a group of schoolgirls who disappear on Valentine's Day in 1900 after being drawn to the mysterious rock formation Hanging Rock.

The ambiguous, unresolved story is matched by the dreamlike aura of the cinematography, which makes the film - in a phrase - hauntingly beautiful (or beautifully haunting, depending on how you view it). Peter Weir's direction reminds me a lot of the photography of David Hamilton, whose photographs always have a distinctive hazy ethereal beauty to them. The girls are outfitted in gorgeous turn-of-the-century fashions: long white dresses in lace and linen, wild flowers and cameo brooches, patterned parasols, leather lace-up boots, delicate corsetted waistlines, matched with fresh makeup-free faces and long flowing hair.

While Picnic is certainly a mystery film, it does not follow the norm in terms of horror/suspense films. There is no blood, no gore, no villain or hero - and the eeriness of the unexplained fate of the girls, matched with the dreams had by several characters as to their fates, makes this story much more affecting than the typical mystery films of today.

Title: from "Wildflowers" (Linda Ronstadt)