Picnic at Hanging Rock: Rare footage, items on show in online exhibition

Actor Anne Louise Lambert with her original Miranda dress. (Darren Weinert/NFSA)

The enduring mystery and appeal of one of Australia’s most famous films is explored as part of an innovative online exhibition compiled by the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA).

Featuring never-before-seen footage, trailers, international posters, 360-degree photography of original costumes and interviews with cast and crew, the Picnic at Hanging Rock exhibition celebrates the popular Peter Weir film, which premiered 40 years ago this month.

Curator Belinda Hunt told Star Weekly that the permanent exhibition was part of a new direction for the NFSA, and a way of sharing its collections with the world.

Ms Hunt said the exhibition went far beyond clips and out-takes from the film.

‘‘There’s a lot from the production side of things, but also lots of oral interviews, so you get everybody’s memories as well.’’

She said the lasting appeal of the film, and the 1967 Joan Lindsay novel on which it was based, was much like the Rock itself … steeped in mystery.

‘‘You can watch it again and again and you still can’t work it out. At the same time, the whole journey of going alone and finding new clues is delicious. I must have watched it 20 times myself.’’

Anne-Louise Lambert, who played the film role of Miranda, said the film was a great part of Australia’s cultural and social history.

‘‘For people to actually be able to see these costumes and objects is incredibly important,’’ she said. ‘‘The work of the NFSA is extremely important.

“I’m happy that these items are well looked after and that others will get to enjoy them.’’

To view the exhibition, visit www.nfsa.gov.au/picnic