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Picnic at Hanging Rock (PG)

Part of: Time, Memory, Dream season

film stil from Picnic a tHanging Rock

From the earliest days of the medium, cinema has pulsated with the language of dreams. This Australian classic is a hypnotically exhilarating example of film as waking dream.

That cinema is uniquely placed to give life to our nocturnal visions was early apparent to filmmakers and by mid-century, the idea that films and dreams speak the same language had entered academia, as psychoanalysis was applied to the study of film. In the same period, modernist filmmakers throughout the world were incorporating dream imagery into their work, offering access on screen to their own psyches.

There is a subset of films which are arguably pure dream from beginning to end, that take place entirely within the dream world. Picnic at Hanging Rock is one brilliant example. This unsettling period film about the disappearance of a party of schoolgirls announces it is based on a real story. But in its most memorable moments its realism is corroded by a dense, dream-like atmosphere that sends us back to the Edgar Allan Poe line recited earlier: “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

This screening will be preceded by a Random Acts short film Dream by James Franco.

Australia 1975 Dir Peter Weir 116 min Digital presentation


James Franco presents Dream, a surreal short film inspired by personal experiences, life, death, and the photography of Gregory Crewdson.
Random Acts is Channel 4’s home to the world’s boldest and most innovative creative shorts. In partnership with Arts Council England.

US 2017 Dir James Franco 1 min

Please arrive promptly at the advertised start time

Proof of ID may be requested on entry to films, in compliance with BBFC ratings


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