German distributors Koch Media have officially announced that they will release on Blu-ray acclaimed Australian director Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), starring Rachel Roberts, Anne-Louise Lambert and Vivean Gray. Street date is July 27th.
Bildergalerie mit seltenem Werbematerial (Stills and rare promo materials)
Kinofassung (Cinema Version)
Bildergalerien (Gallery of Stills)
u.v.m. mit einer Laufzeit von über 5 Stunden (more than five hours of additional content)
24-seitiges Booklet (24-page illustrated booklet)
Kurzfilm (Short Films)
Peter Weir's atmospheric film is based on actual events which have never been fully explained. On St Valentine's Day 1900, a group of Australian schoolgirls set out on a picnic. Two of the girls and one of the teachers mysteriously vanish, and even an extensive search turns up nothing.
Note: Blu-ray.com has reviewed the UK Blu-ray release of Picnic at Hanging Rock, courtesy of Second Sight Films, here.
I'm hoping that by 'cinema edition' they mean the original cut before Weir decided to make it even more elliptical. If the documentary id the two hour one prduced for the Australian DVD, many of the cast and crew are open in their hatred of Weir's shorter director's cut. The UK Blu-ray only has the shorter cut.
I read the above as the theatrical version is on the additional DVDs as the BD disk will be the same in both versions.
That makes it the same as the UK Second Sight 3 Disk DVD set which has the theatrical version in pretty ropey SD on one of the DVDs. Is in anamorphic 1.66 with a disclaimer at the starr saying from best available elements.
So this German set gives you everything together whereas in the UK I had to buy the DVD and BD separately.
IMDb's 'Storyline' section states, "Three students and a school teacher disappear on an excursion to Hanging Rock, in Victoria, on Valentine's Day, 1900. Widely (and incorrectly) regarded as being based on a true story, ... ."
The ropey condition on the full version on the Second Sight disc is apparently down to Weir refusing to allow the original theatrical version to be restored, preferring to re-edit the film and try to bury the original a la George Lucas, which was a cause of some controversy at the time. The Second Sight version was reportedly originally sourced from an old print, with the obvious quality limitations.
I have the Second Sight BD and DVD sets and I don't see much substance to the claim that "many of the cast and crew are open in their hatred of Weir's shorter director's cut". I personally prefer the DC, it has a much more consistent mood. As to Weir not allowing a restoration of the theatrical version, I really don't know, is there any solid credence to that claim?
Look at the end of the documentary when both cast members and composer Bruce Smeaton talk about their dislike of the new cut. Weir is asked about that, says that director's shouldn't second guess their own work and then says he chose to do it anyway.