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AFI research collection
Reference Type web
Title At the Movies
Chapter/Web article title Dr Plonk Interview
State Unknown
Country Australia
Publication Date 29-07-2007
Citation Date
Site URL
Page Number 1 of 1
Comments This is a transcription of an interview with Rolf De Heer and Magda Szubanski about the movie Dr Plonk. De Heer, the director of the film talks about how the idea to make the film came about, and about his process, but interviewer Margaret Pomeranz doesn’t really dig up anything hugely interesting from the two guests. The interview as in most cases on At the Movies with Margaret and David mostly serves to promote Australian film, and ceases to raise any critical questions with De Heer, therefore this article is only really useful, if you’re looking for some enlightenment on where De Heer was coming from.

In the interview director Rolf De Heer talks about being inspired to make Dr Plonk after discovering 20,000 feet of old stock film.

“And in that moment I saw it up on screen with all its imperfections that it was likely to have and could only see it as a silent film, because all those imperfections then become part of the texture of the film, and I thought, yep, I know what we're doing next.” (ROLF DE HEER)

Magda Szubanski who plays Mrs Plonk reveals her thoughts when pitched the idea.

“I thought, "What a great idea". When someone says, "You know, Rolf wants you to be in a black and white, silent comedy set in 1907, filled with - filmed with a hand-cranked camera," and I thought, look, it'll either be fantastic or it will die in the arse.” (MAGDA SZUBANSKI)

Szubanski also talks about the loose script, and how big of a part improvisation played in the film.

“...often there'd be bits saying, "Something funny happens here. Don't know what yet,"”.


De Heer talks of the technical challenges making Dr Plonk, and exploring types of filmmaking he had not yet tried, and maintaining the film’s authenticity
Synopsis In this transcription of Margaret Pomeranz’s interview with director, Rolf De Heer, and actress Magda Szubanski, the two guests discuss working on Dr Plonk. De Heer talks about how the project began, and the type of authenticity he was looking to maintain as he made the film. He also discusses how he picks his projects, and his desire to constantly challenge himself. Szubanski discusses the process of working on Dr Plonk, the role of improvisation in this project, and deciding to be a part of the film.
tags: At the Movies Dr Plonk Magda Szubanski Margaret Pomeranz Rolf De Heer 
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