The Plains

  • 180'
  • Australia
  • 2022

Every day at 5pm Andrew, a middle-aged man working a white-collar job in a community legal centre, drives home through Melbourne’s outer suburbs in peak-hour traffic. The long commute affords him time to phone in on his ailing mother and his wife, and occasionally offer a lift home to a younger colleague, David. Over a year, their tentative small talk gives way to a warm friendship and open conversation within the confines of the vehicle, incrementally revealing their lives. Talkback radio provides some connection to the greater community.

One may wonder: what can a three-hour film set almost entirely in a car, shot with a fixed camera from the rear, offer cinematically? The answer is an unexpectedly engaging observation of the rhythms of daily life and a catalogue of suburban worries. Sensorially, The Plains charts the passage of time as the seasons change. The pitter-patter of rain on the windows and the familiar cocoon of the car provide a sense of comfort and safety from the outside elements. The drive home as liminal space between work and home, as the day is pondered, the night planned. Documentary elements exist beyond the windshield, as a fiction courses through the vehicle. Drone shots of a place far away provide a different perspective, a glimpse of what is hinted at in the car. The Plains is a road movie unlike anything you have seen before. 

Director
David Easteal
Country of production
Australia
Year
2022
Festival Edition
P&I Selection 2022
Length
180'
Medium
DCP
Language
English
Producer
David Easteal
Sales
pascale ramonda
Screenplay
David Easteal
Cinematography
Simon J. Walsh
Editor
David Easteal
Sound Design
Nick Batterham
Cast
Andrew Rakowski, David Easteal, Cheri LeCornu, Inga Rakowski