Fokus festival opens in Edinburgh

Conny Plank: The Potential Of Noise headlines

by Amber Wilkinson

Conny Plank: The Potential Of Noise poster
Conny Plank: The Potential Of Noise poster

The Fokus festival, showcasing the latest films from Germany, opened at Edinburgh's Filmhouse last night with documentary Conny Plank: The Potential Of Noise.

The film about the German sound engineer, who worked with everyone from Scorpions to Eurythmics, is one of 14 films showing at venues across Scotland, including a Margarethe Von Trotta retrospective.

After the film, co-director Reto Caduff took part in an audience Q&A. He explained what a difference it made that his co-director, Stephan Plank, is Conny's son, as many of the interviewees reneged him as a little bit from their time in Conny's studio.

He said: "It made all the difference because they weren't talking to a journalist. They are basically explaining to this kid who lost his father when he was 13 years old, who his father is.

"Stephan was this catalyst. Everyone we called pretty much said yes from the beginning."

It is quite an intense film, from Stephan's perspective, as several of the interviewees address the fact that workaholic Conny wasn't exactly the world's number one dad.

But Reto added: "Stephan knew what he was getting into."

Asked if there was anything he would have liked in the film that isn't there, he said: "I would have liked to have heard Kraftwerk. There's just no interest in crediting Conny in any way. It was made very clear to me that there would be legal repercussions."

Reto says that he is working on future projects with Stephan, along with a further musical documentary himself - albeit a definite of page.

"It's a film called Global Yodel," he said. "I want to go on a road trip with Swiss yodeller Erika Stucky, she's kind of a performance yodeller. Kind of an intense road trip is the idea."

As for Conny, Reto says his secret was that he was always looking to innovate.

"If anything, he was always after the next thing," he said. "He really looked for the next thing. Whodinni are a good example of that. His real talent was pushing the envelope.

Read more about the films showing at Fokus.

For details of screening dates and times, visit the official site.

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