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Dr Plonk

Rolf de Heer
Australia 2007 / 84’

The latest film from esteemed Australian director Rolf de Heer is more than a completely original piece of cinema - it is an event. Shot on expired black-and-white stock with a hand-cranked camera, it skilfully manages to be both a tribute to silent filmmaking and a wry commentary on current events.

Dr. Plonk is a scientist and visionary. Not-so-ably assisted by the clumsy Paulus, the good doctor leaves most of the humdrum details of the day to his plump wife, their harried maid and a crafty pooch named Tiberius. Dr. Plonk can find no one - not even the Australian Prime Minister - to take him seriously, so he builds a time machine to bring back evidence from the twenty-first century.

Jane Schoettle, Toronto IFF 2007


One of Rolf de Heer's great strengths as a filmmaker is his recognition that the cinema can be used to put us imaginatively in touch with other times, other people and other places. As he tells it the genesis of this film was the desire to use-up some left-over film stock, but having made a decision, de Heer always throws himself into a project, and this was to be no simple period film.

Adelaide FF 2007

Rolf de Heer was born in Heemskerk, the Netherlands and moved with his family to Australia when he was eight years old. He spent several years working at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation before entering the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in 1977. His feature films, which have screened at many international festivals and won several prestigious awards, include Tale of a Tiger (1984), Incident at Raven's Gate (1987), Dingo (1990), which featured jazz legend Miles Davis in his only major film role. Two of Rolf de Heer films Alexandra's Project (2003) and Ten Canoes (2006) were screened at ERA NEW HORIZONS festival

Selected filmography:

1984 Tale of a Tiger

1988 Encounter at Raven's Gate

1991 Dingo

1993 Bad Boy Bubby

1996 Cichy pokój / The Quiet Room

1997 Epsilon

1998 Zatańcz ze mną / Dance Me to My Song

2001 The Old Man Who Read Love Stories

2002 The Tracker

2003 Tajemnica Aleksandry / Alexandra's Project

2006 Dziesięć czółen / Ten Canoes

2006 The Balanda and the Bark Canoes (dok. / doc.)

2007 Dr. Plonk

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