August 18, 2009


I watched director Peter Weir's Master and Commander with friends last night. For the 10th or 15th time. It is, I think, pretty much a perfect movie. Style and substance, it works all the way through.

The film is, at its essence, masculine. There are no women in it. If you miss that, you've missed the whole film. It is not universal or inclusive.

Weir has a new film coming out called The Way Back.

Picnic at Hanging Rock
The Last Wave


Boyda said...

David says he thought that movie had very good sound editing.

(he watched it in film school for the sound editing....didn't love it, but now vows to re-watch it)

nathan davies said...

picnic at hanging rock still haunts my dreams.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Weir's a scary film-maker.

Dave M said...

It's great coming across movies you used to think were perfect and you still feel that way about them years later.

Like all those old paul newman movies set in the deep south.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Absolutely. 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof' remains a big deal for me.

"Mendacity. You know what that is. It's lies and liars."

Anonymous said...

I didn't like picnic at hanging rock. For very specific reasons.

I did like Master and Commander. But then, Im obsessed with ships and exploration. It must have been fueling early manifestations of that obsession. That makes me feel good. I would like to re-watch it after you pointed out the masculinity. I also want to re-watch picnic at hanging rock the same day - to understand my own biases between masculine and feminine representations.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

That would be an interesting day at the movies, Forrest.

Y'know, come to think of it, the weakest part of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' is its use of men. I dare say the film would have worked better if the men had remained a little closer to the periphery of the script, as they do in 'Master and Commander.'.

The two films suddenly seem increasingly similar. Hmmm, what is/was Weir trying to do?

Also, even though 'Dead Poet Society' didn't quite work for me, there are thematic connections there as well.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Also, Forrest, for what specific reasons did you not like 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'? I'm curious. And not judgmental -in the way filmlovers can so often be.