2012 / Director. Rold de Heer.
Rolf de Heer. There are few filmmakers like him... in fact he's my favourite Australian director. He has never made the same film twice and each one is as far removed from the last as is possible. From science fiction (Epsilom) to poetic verse (The Tracker) to indigenous historical drama (Ten Canoes) to silent slapstick comedy (Dr Plonk). The man is amazingly versatile and The King Is Dead is his most recent story. A newly-wed couple purchase their dream house on a quiet suburban street. On one side of their house is a friendly family but on the other side is a mob of bogan ferrals. With regular drug deals, violent parties and break-ins, they are the neighbours from hell. And so The King Is Dead is a HUGELY satisfying film. Every emotion is tested. One minute I was laughing and the next I was frustrated. It's a story and a scenario that most people can relate to in one way or another. I have personally lived next door to these type of people and have even had my house set on fire (long story). And so at it's core there is a suburban truth that I could connect with. The performances are outstanding and De Heer's script is tight. Once criticism would be that it descents too far into lunacy during the final act and it abandons it's urban nightmare theme... but even then, these moments are still full of fun and the negatives are easily overlooked. Rolf de Heer is one of a kind and every film is an experience. He rarely disappoints and I can't wait for his next... whatever it might be.