By Hope Madden
Wildly original filmmaker Quentin Dupieux’s newest “no reason” film Wrong opens in Columbus this weekend. The director’s feature debut, Rubber, depicted a car tire on a murderous rampage.
I’ll pause and let that settle in for a second.
Dupieux’s laid back, loony style finds a slightly more accessible form in his latest effort. Wrong is a languidly paced, surreal comedy that follows mustachioed Dolph Springer (Columbus native Jack Plotnick) as he searches for his missing dog, Paul.
It seems straightforward enough, but rest assured, you have no idea where this is going. Importantly, Dupieux seems to.
“Quentin strikes a really interesting tone in this movie,” says Plotnick, who took a few minutes this week to speak with Columbus Underground about his new film.
The two had worked together previously on Rubber, which led to the second collaboration.
“He wrote the role in Wrong for me,” he says. “It was such a gift, and I was so touched and moved and excited.”
“He didn’t want me to feel that I needed to do the schtick I often do in some sitcom or Disney kids’ show. He wanted me to keep it very real,” he says. “And the funny thing is that the absurdity is so much clearer when people are treating it as though it’s really happening.”
While Wrong is certainly bizarre, Plotnick sees a lot of differences in the two films. “There are no exploding heads,” he laughs. “But there is a machine that can read the memory of a dog turd. It’s definitely off the wall, but in very thoughtful, absurdist way.”
Plotnick credits Dupieux’s craftsmanship as the reason his films are so strangely powerful. The filmmaker writes, directs, edits, often scores and photographs his own films.
“He’s his own DP (director of photography), and he’s a fantastic artist with a camera,” says Plotnick. “What I love about Quentin is that he loves breaking the rules of cinema, and this movie really does that. It’s liberating and refreshing, and I’m glad that audiences are catching onto it.”
The actor has been busy since Wrong wrapped, filming another indie, shooting another spot of his recurring role on The Mentalist, and even writing and directing his own movie.
“The big thing in my life is that I’ve directed my first feature film,” he says of Space Station ‘76. “It’s a SciFi dramedy that takes place in the future as we had imagined it in the 1970s, and it stars – this is the amazing thing – Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Matt Bomer and Jerry O’Connell. And I could not be happier with how it came out.”
Space Station ’76 will premier next year at the Sundance Film Festival. In the meantime, you can catch Plotnick in his quest to find his dog this weekend at the Gateway Film Center. And while Plotnick won’t be able to get back to Columbus himself this weekend to see the movie, he’ll be represented.
“My sister’s actually bringing like 20 people there for opening night.”
Originally published on Columbus Underground