tam bir mystery-puzzle filmi. filmde kaybolan kızlara ne olduğu halen daha sinema forumlarında tartışılıyor. bir sürü teori üretiliyor. romanın yazarının yaptığı açıklama (spoiler olur diye yazmıyorum) ise kimseyi tatmin etmemiş görünüyor. filmde peter weir'in yönetmenliği aşmış vaziyette. zamfir'in müzikleri de filme ayrı bi hava katıyor. çok ilginç bir film. blair witch'e de esin kaynağı olduğu söylenir.
filmi izleyenler imdb forumunda yer alan aşağıdaki faydalı yazıyı okuyarak bazı soru işaretlerini yanıtlandırmasalar da filmi kafalarında daha iyi oturtabilirler:
plot: on st. valentine’s day in 1900, the boarders at mrs. appleyard’s college for young ladies go on their annual daytrip to hanging rock, in the australian bush, where four of them disappear without a trace.
1. freudian psychology & homoerotic innuendoes. in the opening scenes of the film, the viewer is introduced, through a series of images, to the world of appleyard college, lost amidst the immaculate australian nature. it is a hot summer’s day; the grasses in the field are dry and yellow, the air is warm and unmoving. inside, groups of teenage girls dressed in white chatter happily, rapturous and ecstatic because of the outing. in the morning, they read love poems to each other, most of which are shakespeare’s, written by the bard for a nameless young man, and tie one another’s corsets, preparing for a long day ahead. here, the corsets symbolize the means with which society restrains women, which would explain why miranda and the rest of the girls took them off when they were alone on the rock.
very early on, the viewer realizes that the bond between miranda and sarah is more than mere companionship. they are, without doubt, in love with each other, especially sarah-the-orphan, who sees in miranda a golden-haired princess who advises her to learn to love someone else apart from her, as she would not stay at the college much longer, at which sarah slowly shakes her head, dismayed.
the college itself is a very tense little domain, where the only man the girls see is the irish stable boy. reciprocal attraction between the students, therefore, is given a chance to develop into something considerably more than plain intimacy, though this is only vaguely suggested.
by the end of the movie one comes to understand that there existed a certain emotional involvement between the repressive mrs. appleyard and miss greta mccraw, the teacher of mathematics. the headmistress, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, has mlle. de poitiers listen to her “drunken abomination” of the missing woman: “i came to depend so much on greta mccraw. so much masculine intellect. i came to rely on that woman. trust her. how could she allow herself to be spirited away? lost. raped. murdered in cold blood like a silly schoolgirl.”
sometime before this mrs. appleyard attempts to flirt with mlle. de poitiers: “is that rouge i see on your cheek, mademoiselle?” when the french teacher answers it is mere powder, and that she “finds it becoming,” the headmistress falls into her armchair, crying “god!” spasmodically.
many people believe that there existed a certain amount of mutual attraction between mlle. de poitiers and irma leopold, providing as evidence the scene where the frenchwoman visits the girl at lake view, bringing with her a single red rose. “let me look at you, cherie,” she says. “you are so pale, but prettier than ever.”
some go as far as to say that mrs. appleyard found herself attached to the “little waybourne girl,” sarah, and was embarrassed. ashamed of her feelings, she did everything she could to humiliate the youngest boarder, not letting her go to hanging rock (the official reason being that sarah did not commit to memory a required verse, but irma was guilty of the same thing and yet was allowed to partake of the picnic as she was a rich heiress), making her sit in the classroom and read the same poem over and over again, and, finally, announcing she could no longer stay at the college. once again, the official reason for that was sarah’s inability to continue to pay for her education, but unconsciously, the headmistress could have wanted to get rid of her because of her unsteady feelings.
there are others, who, supporting yvonne rousseau’s sexual interpretation of the novel, suggest that there was a certain amount of liking between michael fitzhubert and his uncle’s coachman albert: they share a bottle of beer at the picnic near the rock (the bottle here being the phallic symbol that links the story to freudian idea of subconscious association), and appear to be more than mere friends all throughout the film.
in any case, one of the main themes of both the book and the movie is the idea of inner repression, and of feelings that linger on despite our endeavors to stifle them.
2. the murder mystery- the forensic explanation of a perfect sex crime. those supporting one of yvonne rousseau’s guesses that the girls were raped and murdered, point the guilty finger at two people- albert crundall and michael fitzhubert.
let us start with albert. he wishes not to accompany michael to hanging rock (if albert indeed is the murderer) when the young man decides, on an impulse, to look for the missing girls himself, because of his fear of what michael can discover.
we are told very early on that edith horton’s dress was severely torn but that she herself was “quite intact.” (let us not forget that edith would be considered overweight in those times, and is, in any case, unattractive). but irma, found on the rock much much later, has also remained intact. first of all, the rape, if there ever was one, could be purely emotional; the rapist’s orgasmic release could have been caused exclusively by his awareness of his physical power over his victim(s). secondly, we know nothing of the other two girls, marion and miranda. it could very well be that irma and edith remained untouched, but was this so for the other two? they could indeed have been raped and murdered and dumped into a hole. miss mccraw in this case would be gotten rid of as an unwanted witness to the scene, and irma could be banged against the rock and left to die.
when later albert finds irma on the rock (he followed michael’s paper trail), he throws himself at her feet, his conscience overwhelmed with guilt and shame. he knows he cannot kill irma at this point, as michael knows she is alive; what’s more is that he doesn’t want to kill her- he doesn’t care if he gets arrested and hanged, for all he needs at this point is to atone for his mistake and relinquish the guilt that totally devastates him. his wish not to see irma at lake view could be explained as his fear of her recognizing him.
now, some say that the coachman is in fact innocent, and that the young michael, who, indeed, appears to be interested in miranda from the start, has committed the crime. in this case, everything suggested earlier applies to him- he rapes and murders miranda, kills marion and irma (irma survives), and gets rid of miss mccraw who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. (quite possibly she went to search for the girls herself, as the other members of the party were sleeping). possessed by guilt and repentance, the young man decides to go back and try, at least, to find the bodies of the dead girls. personally, i find this theory extremely weak and shaky, for if michael had indeed murdered all of them, he would easily find the place where he dumped their bodies, and not circle the rock again and again without the slightest idea of where the girls could be.
3. the aboriginal sacraments & the idea of sacrifice. in other people’s view, the disappearance of the girls was an unfortunate event that coincided with some aboriginal religious activity. it has been acknowledged that hanging rock was and perhaps still is a sacred site to the aboriginal tribes that lived in that area before the arrival of the englishmen. as you watch the movie, closely observe peter weir’s emphasis on two things- the rock’s resemblance of a human face (well, certain parts of it) and its vigorous, phallic, upward “escalation.”
everyone who's had a close contact with the rock has shown rape symptoms- torn fingernails, bruised skin in certain places, tremendous shock; and yet edith and irma remained physically intact. but what we need to understand is that the rape itself, if it ever took place, was entirely metaphorical. the rock, representing an ambiguous aboriginal religious force, devours the three victims, literally and symbolically. call it initiation or rites of passage, or what you will. nicholas roeg has introduced this theme five years prior to "picnic at hanging rock’s" release in his early film "walkabout." only in "walkabout," it is the native civilization that suffers the loss of life, and not vice versa. in "picnic," however, the girls, being quite european and “civilized” in their upbringing, meet something utterly paranormal, something indigenous, something, to their eyes, entirely alien. the outcome of this short-lived meeting is fatal: the rock has taken the girls away from the world that stifles them, but in return they have to give up living. the rock seduces the girls by offering them, on the metaphorical level, an escape from societal suppression and expelled sexuality. the rock’s mystery can be, but not necessarily, sexual in nature, exerting magnetic thrall over the virginal girls and leaving them wrecked and drained of their blood. but of course, the rock is rather a rapist, not a seducer.
4. hermetic universe & the portal of time- the supernatural explanation. this next resolution, i might add, is the official one, as stated by joan lindsay herself in the final chapter of her novel, chapter 18, removed, upon the request of her editor, from the original manuscript and published separately in 1987 under the title of "the secret of hanging rock." those of us who wanted the book to end like a conventional detective story were exceedingly frustrated. some, eager to point the guilty finger at albert and michael were let down, as were those who maintained that the vanishing was of a mystical/religious character. “the girls,” we were told, “crawled willingly into a hole in the rock, a tunnel in time, for a journey to another dimension.” and here my neighbor thought her suggestion that the girls were abducted by ufo was crazy! lol. but if we’ll read into the text carefully, we’ll notice all the little details that are simply disregarded if we believe in the “murder mystery” resolution of the story: the abnormal red cloud, the stopping of all the watches, irma’s inability to remember anything that happened, etc. because the movie takes place in australia, the native aboriginal “dreamtime” myths can also be found helpful- their primary notion being that in reality there are two (or more) timescales and neither one of them is the definite one. joan lindsay herself believed that “times present, times past and times future coexist; that time isn’t the simplistic continuum that most of us” deem it to be.
5. forces of nature vs. human nakedness- the natural explanation. this, by far, is the most common and believable of all solutions. simply put, the three schoolgirls and miss mccraw were crushed underneath the rock during a slight earthquake, which caused one of the vertical blocks to fall down. all throughout the film the rock is often referred to as nasty, dangerous and loose.
remember the scene where the cake is left unattended on the ground and numberless ants crawl beneath it, gathering crumbs? the insects, in this case, could represent people, and the cake the rock itself. the rock, then, literally wakes up by means of a minor earthquake and traps the three girls. just as human beings crush hundreds of creatures they don’t even notice, the rock, decomposing over millions of years, does not show any concern for the “purposeless” creatures (like our schoolgirls) that are unintentionally crushed.
most of us would have to agree that minor landslides and earthquakes happen in nature all the time. people rarely witness them, however. the three missing girls, nevertheless, were at the right place at the right time, to see this minor (from nature’s point of view) alteration. those who have read the novel will have noticed lindsay’s description of the noises the girls heard when they climbed hanging rock- the drumlike sounds and groans, coming from deep beneath the surface. this shuddering was the interior landslide that at that moment took place within the rock. and i mean, remember how hard it was for the policemen and michael and albert to ascend the same platform that the girls explored with no difficulty in the beginning of the film? the answer for that is: it’s not the same platform- it’s been covered with fallen rocks and other wreckage and stone-fragments caused by the landslide. when the girls take off their stockings, notice how smooth and even the platform around them is, and how rough and coarse it looks when michael climbs it.
what has happened to irma’s corset? i would say she took it off when she struggled to get through the fallen debris (clearly she wasn’t killed right away)- it would delay her progress and she would naturally want to loosen it. she left it behind in the place where she was trapped, and the police never found it. irma’s fingernails were severely torn and broken, once again supporting the idea that she had dug herself out from under the fallen rocks.
in section 4, i have mentioned the fact that mr. hussey’s and ms. mccraw’s watches have both stopped at midday. many of the readers/viewers might be asking why. a reason for this is found in "time without clocks," joan lindsay’s short autobiography, published years before the novel: “there were certain days when i sat at my typewriter in the empty green-aired room feeling like a deep-sea fish suspended in its natural element. not only in my fish tank but outside in the sheltered valley all natural objects seemed in a state of suspension as they do immediately before an earthquake. it was a characteristic of the marsh and perhaps had something to do with the old volcanoes seething and boiling so far below the earth’s crust that even the geologists hadn’t discovered them.”
the red cloud seen by edith horton through the trees as she was running down is not a flying saucer or an alien spaceship, as some of the readers have suggested, but mere dust disturbed during the landslide. miss mccraw, who came in search of the girls, rushed forward to help them, but was, like them, crushed by falling rubble.
6. conclusion. lastly, to dispel some of the common myths existing in moviegoers’ imagination: what happened at the rock is not a true event. despite the director’s claim (in the credits) that what has happened is true, no one as yet has found any newspaper articles or documents that would substantiate this dreadful disappearance. hanging rock, on the other hand, does indeed exist, fifty miles north of melbourne, and is, at no cost, available to be scrutinized and examined by tourists.
yazanın nicki: alet1984