Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Australia, 1971. Screenplay by Peter Weir, Piers Davies. Cinematography by Anthony Wallis. Produced by Grahame Bond, Richard Brennan. Music by Grahame Bond, Rory O’Donoghue. Film Editing by Wayne LeClos.
Peter Weir’s debut as feature filmmaker, this short film was the project that inspired Patricia Lovell to hire him to direct Picnic At Hanging Rock. It’s a lower budgeted version of James Ivory’s Savages, about a group of strangers who show up at a resort house to take part in a few days and nights of strange games and role-playing activities that are the increasingly bizarre whims of the host. One particular member of the household has a high tolerance for the strange goings on, and the punch line of the merely fifty-minute film bears out the result of his sanguine reactions. Obscure and grainy, it’s not an overly impressive work, this sort of one-set, small-ensemble thing is the way most new filmmakers begin, but the strong acting and sharply efficient observations of human behaviour definitely show the talent of an artist who would go on to his deservedly impressive career in the years that followed.