No, they’re not looking up at Godzilla. If only they were!
I shoulda known, I shoulda known… Serious Mainstream Litterature makes lousy movies.
We spent our afternoon watching Picnic at Hanging Rock, a movie by Peter Weir, based on a novel that’s this big cultural icon in Australia and therefore can’t be changed. It’s fiction done up as non-fiction. The author said she wrote it in two weeks. I believe it.
It’s about a girls’ school where they go on a picnic at this spooky place called Hanging Rock (a real place, actually), and three of the girls, plus one of the teachers, mysteriously disappear. One of them turns up later, but has no memory of what happened. That’s because it’s a movie in which nothing happens.
The author said she based it on a dream. Well, fine: I’ve used stuff from my dreams in some of my books. But no one sleeps long enough to dream up a whole novel!
That’s why this blamed thing isn’t a whole novel. It’s a story with a beginning, but no middle and certainly no end. It runs out of gas after the first 30 minutes and then fumfers around. We never find out why the girls disappeared, why the teacher disappeared too, why their watches stopped at noon, why one of the girls mysteriously reappeared. We never find out anything.
We could have watched Godzilla vs. Megalon! Say what you want about a Japanese monster movie: but at least it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It doesn’t just strut around saying “I are Serious Mainstream Litterature!” and give you a big, loud raspberry for watching it.
I say this tarted-up pretense of a movie would have been infinitely better with a monster in it. I’ll go with Godzilla but I’d settle for Mothra. In fact, it would’ve been better with Abbot and Costello in it.
But they were too wise ever to get trapped in Serious Mainstream Cinematic Artsy-Fartsy poppycock.