71. Peter Weir
WITNESS, MASTER AND COMMANDER, THE MOSQUITO COAST, DEAD POETS SOCIETY, PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK
Peter Weir loves to strand his characters. Sometimes, they are transplanted into cultures they don’t understand (Witness, The Mosquito Coast). Sometimes the lead is the only person who doesn’t know what’s really going on (The Truman Show) or the only one who does (Dead Poets Society). Sometimes they are literally separated from society and beset on all sides by harsh nature (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World). In the case of his second, and possibly best, feature film, Picnic at Hanging Rock, the characters attempt almost comically to bring civilization with them out into the elements and find that civilization is underequipped for the match-up. A lot of his characters have to learn such lessons because, despite their occasional grandeur, Weir’s films are not about conquering the world but about finding one’s place in it.
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