Next month sees the release of Dr Plonk, a modern silent comedy written, produced and directed by Australian filmmaker Rolf de Heer (who previously gave the world the film Bad Boy Bubby). It sounds rather engaging. Here’s the synopsis from the official site:
It is the great year of 1907. Dr Plonk, eminent scientist and inventor, calculates that the world will end in exactly 101 years unless immediate action is taken. As befalls visionaries through the ages, Plonk is ridiculed for his beliefs, by politicians, by bureaucrats, even by his faithful manservant Paulus. Being the lateral thinker that he is, Plonk invents a time machine and sets out to collect the necessary proof from the very future that’s ending.
But little about the year of 2007 makes sense to the intrepid doctor. His efforts to alert the appropriate authorities cause him to fall foul of the law and become a hunted man. With the nation’s entire law-enforcement system arrayed against him, a scientific question is posed … can Dr Plonk run fast enough?
According to the director, he made the black-and-white film out of 20,000 feet of unexposed stock that he found in a refrigerator. There’s a QuickTime trailer on the site which indicates that de Heer has seen a lot of Sennett comedies (the lead character looks very much like Ford Sterling) and absorbed the lessons well. There is apparently a strong element of contemporary social satire, with Dr Plonk being mistaken for a terrorist when he visits the madcap world of 2007. The film stars Magda Szubanski, Nigel Lunghi, Paul Blackwell and Reg the dog. It comes with its own music, played by the Stiletto Sisters (violin, piano accordion, double bass) and pianist Samantha White. And it runs for 86 mins.
The film will be released in Australia at the end of August.