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A picnic at the cinema

Posted by: Thomas Cagle - 02 November 2023 - Activities & Sports - Read time: 3 minutes

On Wednesday 1st November, GCSE English literature students at MPW were given the opportunity to attend the screening of the 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock, directed by Peter Weir at Queens Gate House assembly hall.

While it was not arranged for the students to be greeted by an entourage of Botticelli Angels and a flautist frolicking around the hall, Richard Martin (Head of English and Theatre Studies) had arranged for many of the foods that would have been at the picnic, during the late 19th century, to be served. This included an abundance of jellies, cakes, chicken pies and even warm lemonade for the students to enjoy during the screening and perhaps even imagine that they were part of that fateful trip to Hanging Rock.

Laura Williams introduced the event and Jon Luke and John Cameron (Head of Film and Media and Head of History of Art) offered valuable insights about the film in printed form. These resources have proved to be extremely useful in supporting the learning of the Literature students during their lessons; the handouts have sparked discussion and a greater understanding of the novel.

The film was then played and an almost deafening silence fell upon the hall, that was of course excluding the occasional venturing of both students and teachers to the food trays, where they could treat themselves to more of the diminishing supply of picnic food. Evidently, the viewing of the film has manifested a vivid image of the mysterious narrative in everyone’s minds and the novel’s scenery, character development and re-occurring themes were brought to life. Thank you Richard!