September 21, 2002
6:01 AM   Subscribe

Somewhere in Australia, Black Mountain beckons the intrepid adventurer. Who knows what kind of dastardly creature(s) could be hiding in there! If you go there and come back alive, make sure you tell everyone about your experience.
posted by titboy (9 comments total)
Your links made me vaguely recall a film about school girls on an outing who were lost in a rocky outback wilderness - lots of spooky, unexplained overtones. I couldn't rememebr the name but a Google search turned up Picnic at Hanging Rock, a Peter Weir film. As it happens, it is a fictional film and the only relation is the theme of scary, unexplained loss in the Australian wilderness.
Interesting and strange to learn about Black Mountain (thanks) tho I don't think I will add it to my list of upcoming places to go.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:36 AM on September 21, 2002

Are there no sacred places? The gentrification of Transylvania and the Black Forest are bad enough. Heck, Shangri-La is an arm's throw from a freakin' Starbucks. What is it about some people's need to transform the homeland of the Australian Yowie into another tourist haven?

posted by Smart Dalek at 10:04 AM on September 21, 2002

Australia is a strange, interesting place. I went up near there and vaguely remember seeing something like that. But I was only 9. That was soon after I was kidnapped in New York by my father and taken to Alice Springs in Australia (as explained in
posted by funkuncle at 12:38 PM on September 21, 2002

Hanging Rock is an early film by Peter Weir (Witness, The Mosquito Coast, The Truman Show). It's based on a fictional novel, which itself is deliberately ambiguous, and it's much more complicated than a mere horror film. For a long time it was a cult favorite. I highly recommend it, although it seems to be a love it with a passion or hate it with a passion kind of film.

There's hardly any doubt that "Hanging Rock" is based on Black Mountain.
posted by dhartung at 2:20 PM on September 21, 2002

Thanks for the clarification dhartung. Just for the record, I was in the "love it" camp.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:40 PM on September 21, 2002

The movie, "Picnic at Hanging Rock" is set on the book "Picnic at Hanging Rock" published in 1967 by Joan Leslie. She set it at "Hanging Rock" in Victoria, and the movie is set, both in fact and fiction, at the same place.

Although she presented the book as fiction, she also hinted that the story might have some basis in fact, which helped book sales, and the subsequent interest in the movie, immensely.

The rest of the movie, the parts that don't have to do with a group of female adolescents having hysterics and leaving articles of clothing randomly draped across the landscape were filmed in South Australia, in and around Martindale Hall, in the Barossa Valley, a point which marks the end of the Gawler ranges and the beginning of the Flinders ranges.

I enjoyed it as a child, however find it fairly vapid stuff now. This kind of psuedo-mysticism didn't always work well for Weir, but when it did, it worked brilliantly. In our post modernist era, I should note that the movie has been criticised for it's perceived faults, eg, the dichotomy between women and the Australian outback, whereby the Australian countryside is seen to be a very masculine place, where women ought not go, lest they lose their sense of self and ultimately, are absorbed by the landscape that is shown to be so fascinating and threatening in Weir's movie.

Also, and more evident in Weir's "The Last Wave" (a movie I like far more, none the less) there is a certain categorisation of Aboriginal people, whereby they are shown to be mysterious, unknowable, with certain magical powers hardly guessed at....somehow demeaning, and insightful of the poor treatment given to aborigines. They did not own their own history or stories, their languages, variously, were dying, yet Weir made a movie about them, and interposed them as unknown and unknowable, with a culture more reminiscent of that of American indians, and a kind of mysticism more suited to the horror movies which Weir enjoyed watching as a boy.

Of his early movies, I would recommend "The Cars That Ate Paris" without reserve.

Whilst it would apparently be quite possible to become lost at Black mountain, it would take a lot more effort, in all reality, to achieve the same feat at Hanging Rock.
posted by lucien at 10:42 PM on September 21, 2002

No mention of Hanging Rock Picnic Races ??
Held New Years Day.A great piss up
posted by johnny7 at 1:26 AM on September 22, 2002

Not that you were really disagreeing with me, lucien, but I think your final sentence more or less proves my point. The discussion we had on the movie in film criticism class lo these 20 years ago focused on its relationship to Aborigine legends and Australian immigrants' sense of the other, and while I can't be certain Black Mountain itself was mentioned, it sounds a lot like what we discussed. I don't believe we dealt with a feminist critique of the film, though.
posted by dhartung at 12:17 PM on September 22, 2002

"There's hardly any doubt that "Hanging Rock" is based on Black Mountain."

What? Why? Factual source please? I think you can understand why "it sounds a lot like what we discussed" Doesn't really further your argument.

Both the book and the movie are squarely placed, both in fact and fiction, at Hanging Rock, not Black Rock, Uluru, the Olgas, the Blue Mountains, the Glasshouse Mountains, Kosciusko National Park, or any other place with a lofty and rocky disposition. The movie "Picnic at Hanging Rock," is based on the book of the same name, which is set at Hanging Rock.

"No mention of Hanging Rock Picnic Races ??"

*Hangs head in shame*
posted by lucien at 10:39 PM on September 23, 2002

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